Christmas Carols in English

Would you like to practise your English during Christmas? Would you like to improve the Christmas spirit among your family? We suggest that you do both things at the same time and kill two birds with one stone.

It’s something as simple as singing Christmas Carols in English; you surely will have listened to the very famous White Christmas or We Wish You a Merry Christmas. In this post we’ve collected almost ten songs that will delight everyone.

The songs are presented as videos. These videos include the lyrics, so it’ll be easier for you to understand them, as well as being able to sing, if you’re up for it.

The list with the Carols (and some lovely songs) is:

A Christmas Song

Link in YouTube

White Christmas

Link in YouTube

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Link in YouTube

Amy Grant - Sleigh Ride

Link in YouTube

Perry Como - Jingle Bells

Link in YouTube

Rudolph - The Red Nosed Reindeer

Link in YouTube

Celtic Woman

Link in YouTube

Il Divo - When A Child Is Born

Link in YouTube

Mariah Carey - All I want for Christmas is you

Link in YouTube
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Reverso - an Excellent Online Dictionary you Might Not Know

Reverso Dictionary

Are you looking for a good online dictionary? We offer you a better one, and free! It’s Reverso Dictionary.

And why is it better? Because, apart from having other very interesting services, it does everything you’d ask an online dictionary to do. Moreover, Reverso Dictionary is a bilingual dictionary not only between English and Spanish but also between English and French, German, Russian, Portuguese, Italian and Chinese.

Reverso Dictionary allows you to translate words and sentences from English to the language of your choice and vice versa. You’ll also be able to look for the definition along with the list of synonyms and antonyms for the English word that you wish. For example, for the word easy there are countless synonyms and antonyms, more than 20.

Other feature to highlight about Reverso Dictionary is its function to conjugate verbs - simply awesome! You’ll be able to write the verb that you want and it’ll show you all its conjugations (present, preterit, infinitive, imperative, participle, past participle, present continuous, present perfect, past continuous, past perfect, past perfect continuous, future, future perfect, future continuous, present perfect continuous and future perfect continuous), in short, any conjugation you might need. It also works with phrasal verbs.

What are you waiting for? Visit Reverso Dictionary
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Master English Grammar

Perfect English Grammar Logo

Did someone say ‘grammar’? How terrible! Yes, grammar could be the thing that you least like studying. So, why do you need it if with some vocabulary to build sentences, speak and understand well when you can already communicate in English with no problems?

Well, it depends on what your goals are, but with a basic knowledge of grammar you can do quite a lot more. Moreover, there is no doubt that if you want to considerably improve, you can’t avoid grammar. It’s the key that will take you to the next level.

We’d like to introduce you to a page whose design might not be spectacular but whose content is excellent. It’s Perfect English Grammar, a website where you’ll find different resources to resolve all the doubts you may have about English grammar.

In Perfect English Grammar you’ll find videos and grammar explanations about a variety of topics such as: Question Tags, Conditionals, Reported Speech, Passive Voice, Irregular Verbs, State Verbs, Relative Clauses, Prepositions, Modal Verbs and Gerunds and Infinitives.

One of the most interesting things on this website is the proposed exercises which you can practise and thus consolidate your knowledge. You’ll also be able to check if your replies are right because the exercises contain the correct answers. These exercises can be completed online or downloaded in PDF format so you can later print them and use them as material in class or at home to study.

Link | Perfect English Grammar
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TOEFL Secrets Uncovered


Taking the TOEFL

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) evaluates a test-taker's ability to use and understand English in an academic setting. Many colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand require foreign applicants to submit TOEFL test scores as part of the admissions process.

Why Take the TOEFL

The TOEFL is not the only English test that can be taken. Other tests include the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication), which measures business English skills, and the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), which also measures English proficiency. However, the TOEFL is the most widely accepted English-language test in the world. More than 7,000 institutions in over 130 countries accept TOEFL test scores.

Test Content

There are two different versions of the TOEFL test that can be taken: the Internet-based Test (iBT) and the Paper-based Test (PBT). In most cases, you will not be given a choice as to which version you can take. That is decided by the test center administering the test. Some offer only the iBT, while others offer only the PBT. Both versions of the TOEFL test your ability to read, write, listen to, and speak English.

Registering for the TOEFL

There are four ways in which you can register for the TOEFL: online, over the phone, by mail, and in person at a TOEFL Resource Center. Payment must be made on the day you register. Fees to take the TOEFL vary depending on your location, but generally cost around $170 USD. Registration is usually open three to four months before the test date. It is important to register early because seats fill up quickly.

Preparing for the TOEFL

Preparing for the TOEFL in advance will ensure a better score on the test. ETS, the company that administers the TOEFL, provides many free and fee-based test preparation resources on their website, including practice questions and an official test prep guide. Students who need additional help can consult one of the many different test prep companies that offer courses and other types of TOEFL test prep resources. There are also many free resources available online for students who are on a budget.

Test-Taking Tips
  • Familiarize yourself with the test and test directions prior to test day so that you can use your allotted amount of time to concentrate on answering the test questions.
  • Take time to read each question carefully so that you know exactly what is being asked.
  • Do not spend too much time on any one question--try to pace yourself throughout the test.
  • If you aren’t sure on an answer, eliminate the answers that are obviously incorrect and make your best guess.
  • Skim reading comprehension passages to get a basic idea of what the passage is about. If necessary, go back and reread to find specific details.
  • Express your ideas in a clear and concise manner when you complete the writing portions of the test. Remove any words from your sentences that seem awkward or unnecessary.
  • Save time to proofread your writing.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the Guide to Business School. She also writes about online classes for
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Find Your Ideal Language Partner - Language for Exchange

Language for Exchange

Would you like to practice English with native people? Are you moving to Britain and would like to know people in advance? Would you like to teach your first language to others?

Language for Exchange is a good place to start. It’s a simple Web page where you only need to register in order to access a wide database of people from all over the World that want the same as you: to learn a language.

It’s that simple: fill in your data and choose your language partner. A free service that seems to have quite a lot users; you can see their profile and in some cases, even their photo. There are people of all ages and countries, with whom you can talk and practise your English.

The website also has forums and blogs in different languages, where you’ll find resources to keep learning.

Have a look and go on and practise real English!

Visit Language for Exchange

Guest post written by Silvia, Silvia is a graduate of translation and is an official interpreter of English. She works freelance (full-time) and has more than 10 years' experience in specialised translation. Visit her blog "English for Professionals".
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Are you afraid of making mistakes in English?

The best way to learn English is by losing your shame and the fear to be wrong; we’re all human and make mistakes. Moreover, as an additional language that you’re learning you should be less rigid about the potential for making mistakes as they’re likely to happen. Don’t think about a mistake as a step back but as something to learn from and by that improve your level of English.

Even people whose native language is English make mistakes. In order to illustrate it, we’ve selected a series of examples shown in a document written by Bernard Lamb, a lecturer at Imperial College London, which is considered as one of the top three colleges in England.

Some students that were awarded first-class honours degrees made mistakes like:

Mistakes in English
Put implicated for implementedWrong use of the word
Put peace for pieceWrong use of the word
Put defiantly for definitelyWrong use of the word
Confuse effect/affectWord confusion
Confuse where/wereWord confusion
Confuse their/thereWord confusion
Confuse compliment/complementWord confusion
Confuse infected/affectedWord confusion
Confuse infer/implyWord confusion
It incorporate how an organisms adapt toGrammar error. It should be: It incorporates how an organism adapts to
A womenGrammar error. It should be: a woman
In 3 different countryGrammar error. It should be: in 3 different countries.
Put it’s for itsPunctuation error
Put bieng for beingSpelling error
Put recieved for receivedSpelling error
Put usualy for usuallySpelling error
Put totaly for totallySpelling error
alotTwo words written as one: a lot
InfactTwo words written as one: in fact
InorderTwo words written as one: in order
More overOne word written as two: Moreover
There forOne word written as two: Therefore

And these are just some of the most eye-catching mistakes; there are many more. If you want to see the original document, you can download it from this link or this one.

Summing up, you need to lose the fear to make mistakes.
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Job Interview - Avoid the pitfalls

Have you been selected to do a job interview? Congrats, you have taken the first and maybe most important step. Now it’s important to prepare that interview in order to avoid any mistakes that could reduce your chances of getting that job.

In this post we're giving you some tips so that everything will turn out fine in your next job interview.

Don't drop a clanger: The interview process can be difficult enough without making it harder for yourself, so it's important to know how to keep clear of the pitfalls.

Job Interview

Your CV has been picked out of the pile and you have been called for an interview. Apart from researching the company involved, it's important to prepare by brushing up on your technique. Using too many clichés is a bad idea. Avoid using phrases like, 'I think…' or 'I suppose…' as this sounds too weak. Potential employers will be more impressed if you say, 'I am confident…', 'I can…' or 'I know...'

Don't apologise for any lack of skills or experience by saying, 'I am afraid that I only have…', 'I don't have much…'. Instead, highlight the positives you do have. When asked, 'What are your strengths?' do not say, 'I'm a good communicator and I like meeting people.' Interviewers will have heard this before. There are far more meaningful things that you can say to make you stand out. Similarly, when asked, 'What are your weaknesses?' don't opt for the 'I haven't got any' answer. Just as bad are, 'I am a perfectionist' or 'I am an over-worker'. These are over-used answers. Worse still is 'I don't suffer fools gladly'. Nobody likes name-dropping, so unless you are absolutely certain that this will assist you, try to avoid it.

No matter how much you hate your current job, do not make any negative reference to this, no matter how tempting it might be. Don't be over familiar with the interviewer but don't be weak. Make good eye contact and offer a strong handshake, but without staring the interviewer down or breaking every bone in their hand.

Finally, do not turn up for your interview without some practice – if you are getting married, you have a rehearsal, if you are acting in a play, you have many rehearsals and then a dress rehearsal, so give this occasion the time and effort it deserves.

Good luck!

Original article in Metro Ireland
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Game - What is the difference?

A little challenge for the weekend, would you be able to say the difference between the following two expressions:

Eats shoots and leaves.
Eats, shoots and leaves.

Continue reading to see the answer, but try it first without looking! :)

The first sentence informs us that a creature (like a panda, for example) eats newly emerging vegetative manner (shoots) as well as eating leaves.

The second one says that somebody eats something (say, in a restaurant), then they shoot a person/s with a gun and then they leave.

It is that single comma inserted after the first word in the second sentence (Eats,) that differentiates one meaning from the other and what a difference it makes.
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Netlingo - The Dictionary of the New Technologies


The Internet and the new technologies keep on growing. There are new words cropping up everyday and before we realize it, we run into new terms or abbreviations whose meaning is unknown to us. And what's worse, we look them up in a dictionary and we can't find them. What should we do then?

Netlingo has come to help us in this task. This hugely complete website has the mission to gather all these new words in one place. Internet-related words, technical terminology, tech jargon, terms glossary for newbies acronyms used in text messages (sms)... all this can be found in this website.

The site's neat design allows us to search by category: marketing, business, acronyms, programming, hardware, software... everything in English and using a plain language.

The first thing we find when accessing the website is 'the Word of the Day', a useful way to learn new vocabulary and that can also be customized: the Business Word of the Day, the Jargon Word of the Day, and the Acronym of the Day. It really is a very useful way to learn something new every day.

Finally, it shouldn't be forgotten that this site offers several tools to the visitor: a floating toolbar to be downloaded, a pocket dictionary, a widget for your desktop and also the possibility of visiting Netlingo's own blog.

In short, a great resource to keep you up to date with the new terms that appear in the English language :)

Link |

Guest post written by Silvia, Silvia is a graduate of translation and is an official interpreter of English. She works freelance (full-time) and has more than 10 years' experience in specialised translation. Visit her blog "English for Professionals".
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Most Used Abbreviations in English

English Abbreviations

When you start living in an English speaking country you realize that abbreviations are very common, at the beginning it seems a bit weird as in other languages they are not that common, but then you see their potential because they save a fairly amount of time.

Next is shown a list with the most used abbreviations in English. These abbreviations are sorted alphabetically and presented in a table with three columns: the actual abbreviation, its meaning in English and an example to see the context where it’s used.

Table 1: English Abbreviations
Abrev.MeaningExample of use
AFAIKAs Far As I KnowAFAIK there is no problem at all
AKAAlso Known AsShe’s Victoria Beckham, also known as Posh
ASAPAs Soon As PossibleThis needs to be done asap
BBLBe Back LaterNow you have to wait, he’ll BBL
BRBBe Right BackOne sec, I’ll BRB
BTWBy The WayThat’s really good news. BTW, she also finishes her studies
COBClose Of BusinessWe need to finish this requirement by COB
DIYDo It YourselfIf you want anything to happen you have to DIY!
FYIFor Your InformationCommonly used in the emails and when you forward a message to another person. FYI, original message
IDKI Don’t KnowI’m sorry, IDK
IMOIn My OpinionIMO, you’re wrong
LOLLots Of LaughsLol, that was really funny
NIMNot In the MoodI’m NIM to go out tonight
NPNo ProblemNo problem at all, it was my pleasure
OMGOh My GodOMG! Isn’t that Cristiano Ronaldo?
TBATo Be AnnouncedPrize for the winner is TBA!
TBCTo Be ConfirmedThat is still TBC
TBDTo Be DefinedThe room is yet TBD
UFOUnidentified Flying ObjectHe believes he saw an UFO last night
VIPVery Important PersonThat’s the VIP area for the club
WTFWhat the f**k?WTF are you talking about man?

Do you know any other that is not mentioned above?
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Halloween is coming…


But, what is Halloween exactly?
Halloween (also spelled Hallowe'en) is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31. This holiday has origins in the ancient Gaelic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in or sau-an), which is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end".

The celebration has some elements of a festival of the dead. The ancient Gaels believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through.

Why do children say "trick or treat"?
Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to a (mostly idle) threat to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. In some parts of Ireland and Scotland children still go guising. In this custom the child performs some sort of show, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, in order to earn their treats.

To finish, some recommended videos from YouTube:

Classic video from Disney with the Donald Duck – Trick or Treat:

Link to video1 in YouTube

This is Halloween, the song from the Nightmare before Christmas movie:

Link to video2 in YouTube

The previous song with subtitles in English:

Link to video3 in YouTube

Happy Halloween!

Information on the Wikipedia
Image in the post
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Think in English, turn your email into English!

There are many ways for keeping your English alive, some of them require dedication or time consuming tasks but you can also do small things that can help you to keep in touch with the language. For instance, as simple as setting up your PC desktop's environment to English will make you think in English, so every time you copy a file, set a new device, install an application or turn your computer off you'll be interacting with your English!

You can also change the language of your applications so every time you use your browser, copy-and-paste something or write a document in your word processor you'll be doing it in English. This also applies to sites where language settings can be changed, like Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail. As an example, let's see how to set up your Gmail account in English.

1. Go to Gmail and click on “Configuración”:


2. On “Idioma” select English (US) or English (UK):


3. Save your settings clicking on “Guardar los cambios”:

Save changes

4. Now, your Gmail account is in English!

Gmail set to English

At the beginning it could be a little tough because you might be used to how things are written in Spanish, but after a while you'll find yourself working as you would do it with your PC set in Spanish.

You can even extend this idea to your cell phone, so every time you write a SMS or make a call, you'll be using what you've learned in English!!

Guest post from Luis M. Gallardo, you can visit his blog about Linux, Programming, Videogames and many other topics. Luis also collaborates in the planeta consolas blog.
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Great video - Mr Duncan Channel Promo

Mister Duncan

There is no doubt that Mister Duncan is one of the best online English teachers; his videos are very creative and educational.

We’d like to share with you one of the latest videos that he has made (in order to promote his free channel on YouTube) that is simply wonderful.

In this video Mister Duncan shows off his big creativity and through a rhyme introduces you to his channel for learning English on YouTube:

Link to the video on YouTube

Every video in his channel is subtitled so it’s easier to understand them.

Don’t miss his channel on YouTube
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Help! I can’t find a word in the English dictionary!

Guide for an efficient search

There are occasions when we look for a word in the English dictionary and we don’t find it. There are several reasons for this: the dictionary hasn’t been updated, the dictionary is based on British English but the word belongs to American English (or vice versa), the word we’re looking for has been misspelt, the word doesn’t exist, etcetera.

Today we’re going to examine the process that we can follow when something like this happens. We’ll be using as an example the expression “Tinker’s cuss” (one of the Strange English Words mentioned in this post).

The steps to follow could be structured as:

1. Make sure that the word is spelt right (we’ve copied it properly from the original text where we saw it).

2. Start the search in some free online dictionary. Let’s kick off with (not that we want to say that it’s the best, but it’s among the best and its forum is really useful). After searching “Tinker’s cuss” in we get No translation found for 'Tinker’s cuss' but interestingly there is an entry for “give a tinker’s cuss” in the forum that give us a definition for this expression.

3. Problem solved. However, let’s imagine that there was no entry in the forum; we still wouldn’t know the meaning of the word. We can try with another good online dictionary; in this case we make use of TheFreeDictionary. The result that we get after searching is Phrase not found in the Dictionary and Encyclopedia. Please try the words separately. But if we look beneath, there are some articles related to our search; specifically the one related to “give a tinker’s cuss” is the one that give us the right definition.

4. Problem solved again; well done and TheFreeDictionary! However, let’s imagine again that we haven’t found the word nor something related to it in the two previous dictionaries. We could keep looking in other dictionaries individually or change the strategy and use the online translators (google translate, Yahoo! Babel fish …) If we don’t want to visit all of them individually, we can make use of an online resource that allows us to search in all of them at the same time: Jollo is the website that we need. After searching “Tinker’s cuss” in Jollo the truth is that the results are pretty bad and we don’t find a valid translation.

5. Don’t panic! We still have a very powerful resource remaining: google. We can look for “Tinker’s cuss” in google and immediately get a result. The way of looking for it is by including the double quotes at the beginning and the end of the term “Tinker’s cuss”, so we’re telling google that we’re looking for those words in that specific order. The results that we get are linked to online dictionaries (TheFreeDictionary, Wiktionary,, Urbandictionary or that’ll give us what we’re looking for.

6. If in step number 5 google tells you an answer like Did you mean...? then have a look at the options that google suggests and if any of them convinces you and you can’t find related entries for the word or sentence that you’re looking for then it could be that the word doesn’t really exist. Good luck anyway!
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Kindersay - Free English Word Games For Kids


It’s usually said that the younger the student is, the easier to learn a new language. Certainly, the ability that the children have to acquire new vocabulary and expressions is astonishing.

However, sometimes it’s difficult find the necessary material or resources with the required quality to facilitate their learning.

So that we can help in this regard we present you today a webpage where you’ll find superb free videos in English, which the young learners will be able to watch, listen to and learn new words.

The name of this online resource is Kindersay. This website contains hundreds of free online videos (to learn new words) designed to help preschool kids (whose native language is English) and English as Second Language (ESL) children.

With more than 500 videos and online activities the kids can learn new elements as useful as: the English Alphabet, Animals, Food, Parts of the Body, Colours, Time, Shapes, Numbers, Tools, Transport and a large etcetera, Kindersay is without doubt a must-visit site.

If you’re not convinced yet, you should know that for every topic it’s possible to play an online presentation that shows every word in a module. Then for every word you can see its pronunciation, writing and a descriptive image:

Kindersay Presentation

There are some other surprises that you can discover by yourself! :)

Link |
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5 Tests to Take Before Applying to a Master's Program

Tests to apply for a Master's Program

There are five basic tests that international students will need to research before applying to an American university or to schools in other English-speaking countries. Although it is not necessary to take all of these tests, most master's programs will want to see scores from at least one English proficiency test in addition to scores from a GRE or GMAT test. Here is a list of tests commonly accepted by educational institutions:

TOEFL - The TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) is accepted by more institutions than any other English-language test. Nearly every university in the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand uses scores from this test to determine whether or not foreign applicants are able to understand English in an academic setting. TOEFL scores are also used frequently by government organizations and scholarship programs. The TOEFL tests your ability to read, write, listen to, and speak English. Students are allowed to take this test online. Paper-based tests can also be taken at testing centers around the world. TOEFL scores are valid for two years.

TOEIC - The TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) is an English proficiency test which is considered to be the global standard for measuring business English skills. Scores are used by corporations, educational institutions, and governments in more than 90 countries. The TOEIC tests your ability to listen to, speak, read, and write English. Listening and Reading tests are multiple choice and must be taken with paper-and-pencil at certified testing centers. Speaking and writing tests are delivered over the Internet. TOEIC scores are valid for two years.

IELTS - The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an English proficiency test recognized by universities, multinational companies, and government agencies in more than 120 countries. There are two versions of the test that can be taken: Academic or General Training. The Academic test is designed for students who want to study or train at an English-speaking university. The General Training test is for individuals who will be completing secondary education, work experience, or training programs in English-speaking countries. Both tests measure reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. IELTS scores are valid for two years.

GRE - The GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) is administered to prospective graduate students. Most schools within the U.S. and several schools outside the U.S. require master program applicants to submit GRE scores. There are two versions of the test that can be taken: the General test and the Subject test. The General test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. Subject tests measure undergraduate achievement in one of eight disciplines: biochemistry, cell, and molecular biology; biology; chemistry; computer science; literature in English; mathematics; physics; or psychology. The General test is administered at computer-based test centers and paper-based test centers around the world. The Subject tests are administered three times per year (October, November, and April) at paper-based test centers worldwide. GRE scores are valid for five years.

GMAT - The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is used by MBA programs and other graduate management programs to assess the qualifications of business applicants. Although some business schools have begun to accept GRE scores, many schools require or prefer GMAT scores. The GMAT includes an Analytical Writing Assessment, a Quantitative section, and a Verbal section. The Quantitative and Verbal sections are multiple choice; the Analytical Writing portion is not. The GMAT can be taken at computer-based testing centers around the world. A Mobile Test Center has also been established so that students can take the test at universities that are not near a testing center. GMAT scores are valid for five years.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the Guide to Business School. She also writes about top online colleges for
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Free Reports

Free Reports

In this page we’ll compile different documents and guides that we’ve been creating for the blog and that we believe will be really useful for you.

Tips to Make a Job Interview More Successful:

Positivity is the answer (English): link1, link2
Positivity is the answer – Ser positivo es la respuesta (Spanish): link1, link2

About Job Interview (English): link2, link2

Types Of Interviews (English): link1, link2

Job Interview, Questions and Answers (English): link1, link2

Job Interview - Finding the right answer (English): link1, link2
Job Interview - Finding the right answer, Encontrando la respuesta correcta (Spanish): link1, link2

Job Interview - A Professional Diagnosis (English): link1, link2
Entrevista de trabajo - Un diagnóstico profesional (Spanish): link1, link2


Nouns in Groups (English): link1, link2

Free e-books:

Power of English Phrasal Verbs (English): link1, link2
El poder de los verbos compuestos en inglés (Spanish): link1, link2

How To Stop Struggling With English Writing (English): link1, link2
Cómo superar tus problemas cuando escribes en inglés (Spanish): link1, link2
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Babbel - Excellent Travel Vocabulary

You know Babbel, don’t you? Shame on you if you don’t! :) In the blog to Learn English Online we have talked about Babbel a couple of times already, the first one as a formal introduction and the second one to mention that Babbel is not only good to improve your vocabulary but it also allows you to chat, do exercises or different tutorials with grammar content.

We want to present you today another novelty that Babbel has recently incorporated and that’ll be very useful for any trip that you make.

It’s a set of 21 new vocabulary modules related to travelling and holidays.

travel vocabulary

This vocabulary includes words and sentences commonly used when travelling by train or airplane, hiring a car, at the airport, at the hotel, at the doctor, going on a beach holiday, looking for accommodation, camping, at the youth hostel, asking for directions or shopping.

In one word, extremely useful vocabulary for everyone wishing to travel and wanting to do a quick review of their vocabulary. If you are travelling either for pleasure or business reasons, this complete pack of vocabulary comes in very handy.

Link |
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Job Interview - Look good on paper

Not sure about how to write your CV? Would you like your CV to stand out from the crowd and be relevant? In the following post we’re giving you a series of handy tips so that your CV won’t be ignored next time.

It is important for any job seeker to remember that your CV is a sales document and needs to give the relevant information to the prospective employer in the best possible way.

How to write your CV

Your CV needs to be visually clear – a maximum of two pages, using bullet points to outline the most important and necessary information. Remember that if you are one of 100 CVs received for a job vacancy, you have to ensure that the employer can, at a glance, find the information that is relevant to the role.

Firstly, consider the role you are applying for. If you are answering a job advertisement looking for a Marketing Executive for example, there is no point sending a CV showing your current role as a Marketing Manager because you will be considered too senior for the role and your CV will be passed over.

Ensure that you are applying for a position that suits your experience and make sure your CV clearly expresses this. If you have had three jobs over ten years, spend the most time and CV space on your most recent job – this is what the employer will be most interested in. For example, do not take half a page to detail your experience working a summer job in McDonald’s ten years ago, and then only give three lines to your most recent role, which you have held for five years.

Many people write a CV when they leave their first job and then over the years just keep adding bits to it – don’t do this! Create a new, fresh look for your CV, tailored to the job you are applying for.

Finally, always list your achievements. Employers are always interested in these. Equally, think about what hobbies you are listing, making sure that they are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Original article in Metro Ireland
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The trouble with Facebook

Facebook logois an excellent tool to keep in touch with your friends, share and express yourself. However, you should be careful with what you publish and the way you say things.

This girl surely learned the lesson.

NOTE: The following image contains offensive words and inappropriate language.

Facebook pitfall

The text in the image (just in case it’s not clear enough) is:

The girl: OMG I HATE MY JOB!! My boss is a total perwy wan… always making me do shit stuff just to piss me off!! WAN…!

The boss: Hi XXX, I guess you forgot about adding me on here?
Firstly, don’t flatter yourself. Secondly, you’ve worked here 5 months and didn’t work out that I’m gay? I know I don’t prance around the office like a queen, but it’s not exactly a secret. Thirdly, that ‘shit stuff’ is called your ‘job’, you know, what I pay you to do. But the fact that you seem able to fu.. up the simplest of tasks might contribute to how you feel about it. And lastly, you also seem to have forgotten that you have 2 weeks left on your 6 month trial period. Don’t bother coming in tomorrow. I’ll pop your P45 in the post, and you can come in whenever you like to pick up any stuff you’ve left here. And yes, I’m serious.
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More Strange Words in English - Odd English Words (Part 2/2)

Do you know the English words that make the triple S (SSS)? Scrumptious, Sequacious and Swingeing. Pretty uncommon words, aren’t they? It might even be the first time that you’ve heard them.

Odd English Words

In this post we present you with the rest of the collection of strange English words that completes the list of “Odd English Words”.

As we usually do, we present the list in a table with four columns: the Word, the Meaning (in English), the Form and an Example of Use (to see the word in context).

This second part includes the last 12 words from the list:

Table 1: Odd English Words (Part 2)
WordMeaningFormExample of use
To LoatheTo dislike (someone or something) greatlyVerbShe loathes men who smoke.
A moot pointSomething irrelevant / A point or question to be debatedNounUntil we rebuild downtown, whether we build more parking spaces is a moot point.
PotationThe act of drinking / A drink, usually alcoholicNounPerhaps his nocturnal potations, prevented him from recognising accents which were tolerably familiar to him.
To quashTo put down or suppress forcibly and completelyVerbThe general ruthlessly quashed all opposition.
To rarefyTo make thin, less compact, or less denseVerbThe bones are rarefied.
ScrumptiousDelicious or very attractiveAdjectiveMy grandmother does really scrumptious cakes.
SequaciousSlavishly unthinking and uncriticalAdjectiveSequacious media is bad for democracy.
SwingeingSevere; punishingly badAdjectiveBBC newsreaders face swingeing salary cuts.
TawdryCheap, showy, and of poor qualityAdjectiveThose are tawdry Christmas decorations.
To be on tenterhooksTo be uncertain and anxious about what is going to happenVerbHe was on tenterhooks about the result of the exam.
Tinker’s cussTo be uninterested in somethingNounI don’t give a tinker’s cuss if it rains all weekend.
To VillifyTo make vicious and defamatory statements aboutVerbThe Nazi propaganda villified the Jews.
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Do You Know these English Words? - Odd English Words (Part 1/2)

In the English language there are also odd, weird and not very common words. We present you below a list with some of these atypical words. It’s worth knowing these words as they are expressions that we use in our colloquial language.

Odd English Words

The list is presented in a table with four columns: the Word, the Meaning (in English), the Form and an Example of Use (to see the word in context).

This first part includes the first 11 words from the list.

Table 1: Odd English Words (Part 1)
WordMeaningFormExample of use
BehestAn urgent requestNounGM Chief to Resign at White House's Behest.
BunkumEmpty, nonsense talkNounThe bunkum of Body Mass Index.
ContumelyScornful or insulting treatmentNounFollowing years of police harassment and public contumely, he was arrested and charged with high treason and espionage.
To forgoTo give upVerbNew Zealand Cricket has persuaded its six Indian Premier League players to agree contracts with the board and forgo "significant sums of money".
To ForegoDo withoutVerbFlu fear forces groom to forego nicety.
GrislyInspiring repugnance, gruesomeAdjectiveThe grisly murder was committed here.
GristlyComposed of or containing gristleAdjectiveMy son has a sore gristly lump behind his nipple.
GrizzlyA grizzly bearNounThe grizzly bear is a subspecies of brown bear.
To go haywireCrazy, madAdjectiveThis period is just haywire time.
HubrisArroganceNounThere is no safety in unlimited technological hubris.
JejuneNot interesting / ChildishAdjectiveHe was very surprised by their jejune responses to our problems.

Do you find any of these words useful?
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We've All Been There!

You might be enjoying your holidays or just back from them. Whatever the case, a bit of humour in English will be welcomed. Do you recognize any of the following situations?

humour 1

humour 2

humour 3

humour 4

humour 5

humour 6

humour 7
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Grammar Lesson - Nouns in Groups

nouns in groups

There are three main ways in which we can put nouns together so that one modifies the other:

1. noun + noun:
a bicycle factory
a war film
the table leg.

2. noun + ’s + noun:
my sister’s car
a bird’s nest
cow’s milk.

3. noun + preposition + noun:
the top of the page
a man from London
a book on modern music
a feeling of disappointment.

Unfortunately, the exact differences between the three structures are complicated and difficult to analyse – this is one of the most difficult areas of English grammar. We use the noun + ’s + noun structure to talk about parts of people’s and animals’ bodies, (e.g. an elephant’s trunk) but to talk about parts of non-living things we usually use noun + noun structure (e.g. the table leg; NOT the table’s leg.)

With words like top, bottom, front, back, side, inside, outside, beginning, middle, end, part we usually prefer the noun + preposition + noun structure:

the top of the page (not: the page top)
the back of the bus (not: the bus back)
the bottom of the glass (not: the glass bottom)
the end of the film (not: the film end)

There are, however, some common exceptions:

the water’s edge
the seaside
the roadside
a mountain top.

We also prefer the noun + preposition + noun structure with words that refer to units, selections and collections, like piece, slice, lump, bunch, blade, pack, herd, flock, group, and so on (e.g. a piece of paper; a bunch of flowers).
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Where do I start studying English?

where do I start

Learning a new language is not something that can be done in a week unless you’re a genius like Daniel Tammet (he learnt how to speak Icelandic fluently in a week). The combination of learning, studying and practice of the English language is a large process (you need months to see the results) but it’s not necessarily boring.

In Learn English Online we’ve shown that English can be learnt in a pleasant and enjoyable way with the hundreds of resources existing on the Internet. However, like in many tasks, the most difficult thing is how to get started.

In this page we’ll collect the Learning Guides that we create and you then can use them depending on your level of English. These Learning Guides are classified following the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) nomenclature: A1 (Elementary), A2 (Basic), B1 (Pre-intermediate), B2 (Intermediate), C1 (Pre-advanced), C2 (Advanced).

We believe that learning has to be not only a natural process but also as funny and entertaining as possible. And this philosophy is the one that we’ve followed when writing these studying or learning guides.

A continuación y dependiendo de tu nivel de inglés puedes navegar entre las diferentes guías de aprendizaje y escoger la que más te guste.

From the three categories below you can browse through the different Learning Guides and choose the one that you most like or according to your level of Engish.

A1 - How to learn English from scratch? - Music
A1 - How to learn English from scratch? - Livemocha
A2 - Learn English in 10 Minutes using Podcasts
A2 - English for beginners - Illnesses vocabulary
A2 - English for beginners - Vocabulary about Football in English

B1 - English for intermediate learners - Reading
B1 - Why using Phrasal Verbs is Crucial For Fluent English
B1 - Learn English Phrasal Verbs Using 3 Powerful Tips
B1 - 3 More Tips to Master English Phrasal Verbs
B1 - Top 20 Most Common English Phrasal Verbs

C1 - A Quick Way to Improve Your Vocabulary - Subtitled Videos
C1 - English for advanced learners - Practise with Videos
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Wordnik - the Total English Dictionary


Are you looking for an innovative and complete online dictionary? You’re lucky, because in Wordnik you’ll surely find whatever you’ve dreamed in a good English dictionary.

The truth is that Wordnik is not the traditional dictionary where you look for a word and then get the definition. Wordnik is much more and that’s the reason we like it; it’s the perfect example of an online dictionary 2.0 that collaborates with other services (like Flickr or Twitter) and that also allows the user to contribute their own content.

When you’re looking for an English word in Wordnik you’re give the following information:
  • Definitions: several definitions for the word from different dictionaries like American Heritage Dictionary, Century Dictionary, Webster's Unabridged (1913) and WordNet.
  • Related words: synonyms, antonyms and other words that could be related in some way.
  • Pronunciations: it allows you to listen to the word with recordings from some other dictionaries or recordings by the users.
  • Examples: excellent sentences and text to see the word in context and better understand its meaning.
  • Twitter: it does a search on Twitter to see any tweet that contains the word you’re looking for.
  • Images: different images from Flickr that are labelled with the word you’re interested in.
  • Etymology: for anyone wanting to know about the origin and evolution of the word.
There is the possibility to see all this data in the Summary tab, where you can find all the above information plus some extra facts, like Statistics about the word.

If you’re also interested in collaboration with content you have several options, like adding a note about a word or recording its pronunciation.

Link | Wordnik
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Blog Archive for Learn English Online


Do you need to find a particular post on Learn English Online? Here you can browse through the monthly archives and you’ll probably find what you’re looking for.


December| November| October| September| August| July| June| May| April| March| February| January


December| November| October| September| August| July| June| May| April| March| February| January


December| November| October| September| August| July| June
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Something funny - I’m rich!


No, I haven’t won the lotto (or maybe yes). But in the last week I’ve received emails saying that I’ve won a million pounds, that I’ve won the google lotto, etc.

Some examples of these emails are:

From: British Telecom Office:

You have been awarded the sum of £1,000.000.00 GBP in our Telecom draw, get back to us asap

Contact email:


Mrs.Julia George

Subject: Tobacco … Winner:

You have been awarded the sum of £1,000.000.00 GBP in our tobacco draw, get back to us asap

Contact email:


Mrs.Julia George

NOTE: But I don’t smoke! And what’s more, Mrs. Julia George has several jobs; she works in the British Telecom and Tobacco offices, and we are told that there is a lot of unemployment out there?! Great! I’ve already won 2 million pounds!

Subject: 1,000,000.00 GBP:

You have just been awarded, 1,000,000.00 GBP in the 2009 Online British Lottery; send us your full details:
Full Name:
Full Address:

From: British Telecom Office:

You have just been awarded, £1,000.000.00 GBP in the British Online; send the following:

Mrs. Caroline Bryan

NOTE: I’ve lost count; I think that I’ve already won 4 million, cool! And I also know that Mrs. Caroline Bryan and Mrs.Julia George work together in the British Telecom Office.

Subject: Urgent Information from Google ***Congratulations!!!***

You have been picked as one of our lucky winners of £850,000 British Pounds in the on-going Google promotion.
For more info/ how to claim your prize, contact the processing agent (Mr.
Grahams Benfield) with the email addresses below with your Ticket
number: 00869575733664,CGPN:7-22-71-00-66-12,Serial
numbers: BTD/8070447706/06 & Lucky numbers:12-12-23-35-40-41(12).
E-mail(s), grahams.benfield
Wishing you good luck!!

NOTE: More money! Great! And this time none other than a promotion from google, also called google lotto in the email. Well, well, it seems that google has already invented all the Web services, even an online lotto.

I’m going to answer all those emails right now so they can send me the money. I think that I’m going to give them more personal data and even bank account details just to make sure that the money is sent correctly… What? Is that SPAM? Oh no! Well, now that you mention it, it does look like a big amount of money.

Well, jokes apart, I think that gmail needs to improve the spam filter. I also hope that you have seen a reason why it’s important to have certain knowledge of English so you’re able to understand these emails and detect that they’re absolutely RUBBISH.

Do you usually get SPAM?
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Have you already joined the Campaign against Hunger?

The goal of the Campaign against Hunger is to get rice that will help reduce the 24.000 deaths that happen every day because of hunger.

In order to participate you just need:
  1. A computer with connection to the Internet.
  2. Visit the website
  3. Start answering the different questions (10 grains of rice will be donated for every right answer).
In there are different subjects whereby you can practice your knowledge of English, art, chemistry, math, and geography. You can even learn other languages like Italian, French or German.

If you join the campaign please don’t forget to send an e-mail to with your name, Web or alias and the quantity of grains that you have donated so we can add it to the total and keep it growing.

Several people, blogs and even high school classes have already joined the Campaign against Hunger. Many thanks to everyone who has joined:

Clase de 3º de ESO B del instituto de Jinámar en Telde, Las Palmas de G. C.
Clase de 1º de ESO B del instituto de Jinámar en Telde, Las Palmas de G. C.
Nomad for Life
Being More Through Having Less
Sharing Learning
Aprender Inglés Online

Altogether, we have already obtained more than 20,000 grains of rice.

You can see the complete list of participants and the number of granules donated in the following document.

Join today and contribute with your grains; you can obtain more than 100 in just 5 minutes.

And for that, teachers who don’t know what to do in the very last days of the summer term, why not follow Yolanda’s example and go with your students to the computer room and get started? Visit and then tell me how it went!

More information about the Campaign against Hunger in the following post.

Thanks to all.

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Job Interview - Positivity is the answer

Are you getting ready for a job interview in English? Would you like to know some questions that you might be asked and suggested possible appropriate answers?

We show you below a series of questions and answers (in English) where it is argued that the solution for a satisfactory interview is positivity.

Job Interview

In today’s candidate strong market when you’re up against some fierce competition saying the right thing can mean winning or losing that dream job. Louise Campbell from Robert Walters gives tips on how to give great answers to tough questions.

Q: Why do you want this job?
Be honest with yourself: Are you interested in what the position entails? Or is it just an impressive increase in salary? You should know exactly what will be expected of you. Have you seen a job description? Have you researched the company’s website? A recommended answer could be: ‘I am convinced that the role would very much suit my career aspirations and current skill set’.

Q: Why should I hire you?
This question is all about selling yourself. Try pointing out your strengths by using examples of work you have previously done in relation to the requirements for this role. You could say something like: ‘I believe that the job specification listed many skills I could bring to the organization’.

Q: What is your biggest weakness?
This is known as a negative question, one that interviewers use to test your ability to keep your cool. Let’s face it: we all have weaknesses. But you should try to spin your weaknesses into something positive. A possible answer could be: ‘I think time management is something I could work on, but I am getting better at prioritizing’. Avoid being a ‘perfectionist’ or saying things like, ‘I have no weaknesses that I know of’. This makes you come across as arrogant and overconfident.

Q: Why are you leaving your current role?
Always remain positive when discussing your reasons for leaving. You should have a structured response to this question before your attend an interview. Simply stating that you would like a ‘new challenge’ or ‘change of environment’ can sometimes also send out warning signals to employers, as they may be concerned about hiring a job hopper who is constantly on the look out for something more challenging. Be honest but professional. No employer will want to hire if you are negative about previous employers and you will immediately be seen as unprofessional.

Q: Tell me about yourself?
This is not the opportunity to tell the interviewer your life story. When interviewers ask this question, they are actually more interested to know what you enjoy in your career and as a person and how well you would fit in with the culture of the company. A good answer to this could be something like: ‘I like meeting new people and enjoy being involved with administration for projects and events’ .

Q: Where do you want to be in five years?
Unfortunately, many people are usually not prepared for it, and few actually know where they want to be in five years’ time. A suggested answer could be: ‘I’d like to think I will be working for a successful organization such as this but in a role with increased responsibility’, or, ‘Whatever I do, I want to be doing it to the best of my ability’. It is the way you answer rather than what you say that’s the most important here.
Finally, always remember that the interview is a two-way process, so it is important to have a list of questions you can ask your interviewer at the end. These could include asking the interviewer what motivated them to join the organization, or if they have any reservations about your skill set/experience at this point.
Remember that an interview does not have to be a grueling process if you are well-prepared and know exactly why you are going for the role. The key to a successful interview is to be positive.

Have you done any job interviews in English? How did you find it?

Original article in Metro Ireland
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A Quick Way to Improve Your Vocabulary - Subtitled Videos

Learning Guide

One of the problems that we usually face when learning English is how to learn new vocabulary. At school we are usually taught new vocabulary by learning by heart big lists of words in English with their corresponding translation.

I personally think that this method is of limited value for several reasons:
  • It’s not a natural way of teaching but a “brute force” method.
  • It’s not useful to memorize a word and then never use it again; you’ll surely forget it in less than a week.
  • When you learn a word from a list you only learn how to write it but not how to pronounce or how to use it in context (in a sentence).
However, there is no doubt that the process of learning new vocabulary is a process of repetition where memory has vital importance. The better your memory, the fewer the number of times you’ll have to repeat a word in order to learn it.

I believe that you learn a word in English when you know how to pronounce it properly, write it and use it (in a sentence).

I’m going to describe below a method that I’ve used to learn new vocabulary. The idea is to use subtitled videos in English (in this case videos from TED mentioned in this post). You choose a video that you like and then through watching it several times you see the evolution in its understanding and learning of new words.

Subtitled videos are an excellent tool because they allow you to see the word (you learn how to write it), listen to it (how to pronounce it) and you see in which situations it’s used (its context).

Videos from TED are made by people that speak fluent English therefore they are recommended for people with an upper-intermediate or advanced level. Nevertheless, if you wish don’t hesitate to use this technique. You can also use it with other videos that are more appropriate for your level of English.

What does this method to learn new vocabulary consist of?

First thing you have to do is choose a video. In my case I chose the video which talks about the mathematics of war.

Video example

Link to the video

Then try to watch the video without subtitles and estimate how much you understood. In my case I understood 80%.

Watch the video a second time (without subtitles) and estimate your understanding again. In my case 85%.

Now a third time but turn on the subtitles in English. I understood 90%.

A fourth time with the subtitles again. I understood 90%.

In my case the improvement between the third and the fourth time is zero. This is because I wasn’t able to understand more words on account of the context; plus the words that I didn’t know I needed to look up in a dictionary.

I got down to work and I created the following table with four columns (Word, Meaning, Form and Example of use).

I watched the video again, stopping at those words that I didn’t know and filling in the following table:

Note: You might have to adapt the Meaning column to your native language.

Table 1: New Vocabulary from the Video
WordMeaningFormExample of use
NaiveIngenuoAdjectiveAs a naive New Zealander I thought, well, I’ll go to thePentagon.
StreamCanalNounIf we can get enough of these streams of information together.
RawSin tratar, sin filtrarAdjectiveWe brought this raw data in and we filtered it
Pull outSacar, extraerVerbIt’s all in the streams of information we consume daily; we just have to know how to pull it out.
PlotTrazar, marcarVerbWe plot data for sample on this (in a graph window).
Blew my mindMe rompió los esquemas, me dejó “flipando”Verb… of theway attacks are ordered in this conflict, and this blew our minds.
ClusteredApiñarse, agruparseVerbThe slope of these lines clustered around this value of Alpha equals 2.5.
SlopePendiente (término matemático)NounNegative Alpha is the slope of that line I showed you before.
CoalescenceCoalescencia – propiedad de las cosas de unirse o fundirse.NounSo we look at a process of group dynamics coalescence and fragmentation.
SeeminglyAparentementeAdverbWhy should these different, seemingly different conflicts have the same patterns?
SurgeLevantamientoNounThe system gets perturbed, it moves upwards to a fragmented state and this is when the surge happens.

A week later I reviewed the learned vocabulary and I watched the video one more time (without subtitles). I understood 98% - 99%.

Is it that simple?

Well, the way of learning depends a lot on everyone. If you want to optimize this particular method you’ll have to adapt to the way you learn and have regard to your own personal qualities. In my case I have a normal memory and thus it’s necessary for me to REPEAT things several times. If you have a good memory (which is really good to learn languages) you’ll probably be ok if you watch the video a couple of times.

Visit TED’s website and put this method into practise! :)
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Let’s fight against 24000 daily deaths - campaign against hunger

Did you know that every 7 seconds a child starves to death?And that the total of people who die every day because of hunger is greater than 24000? These figures are terrifying but unfortunately they don’t have much impact on the media.

If we compare these figures with the number of deaths due to Swine or H1N1 flu, the contrast could not be more stark. Hunger causes more than 24000 deaths every day and Swine flu has killed 125 people (up to today) since it was known about some months ago.

This is not a criticism but something that I think we all should consider.

And what can we do to reduce hunger in the World? That’s something that politicians should do, shouldn’t they? No, that’s a matter of EVERYONE and there are hundreds of things that can be done to help, from taking part into some organization, donating money, going as a volunteer to a country in need … to visiting a website ( and answering different questions in a way that for every right answer 10 grains of rice, that will help to reduce hunger in the World, will be donated.

With you’ll help reduce hunger in the World and also, as the questions are in English, you’ll improve your level while you play. There are also questions related to other subjects (Art, Chemistry, Geography, Language Learning and Math). If you have played the “Brain Training “game you’ll surely like Try to reach the maximum level in all the subjects!

You can see below the official video about in YouTube. Please notice that in the video it is mentioned that 20 grains of rice are donated with each right answer. However, currently it is 10 grains of rice for each right answer:

Link to the video

I like the idea, can I participate?
Sure, everyone is welcome. The more the better.

What do I need?
A computer, a connection to the Internet and then visit the website

But this is a campaign, isn’t?
Yes, that’s why we are asking you that if you have a Web page, blog, radio, TV channel or any other media stream talk about this campaign to fight the hunger. If not, you can also make the campaign known by mentioning it to your friends.

Ok, do you have a banner that I can use?
Yes, we have made some of different sizes and languages (in English and Spanish) that you can use.

And how are you going to check the participants and the total of rice donated?
Every person or organization who participates can send an e-mail to or with their name, alias, Web page, Blog name or any other identification and the total amount of grains of rice that they have donated. Everybody will be responsible for keeping track of their own total of grains donated and can be informed anytime they wish.

Participants will be added in this document.

When is it the campaign going to finish?
Well, the World Food Day is the 16th of October but it is a bit far ahead in time so we are going to say one month so the 6th of July the campaign will close and the total amount of rice donated will be counted.

Is there any goal in the number of grains to donate?
Yes, what about 100 millions? It takes approximately 5 minutes to donate 200 grains if all the answers are right so go on, we can make it.

Is there a prize for the person or organizations that donate more grains?
No, there are no prizes; the idea is to be generous and spend 5 minutes or more of our day to alleviate this truly human hunger pandemic in the World. We all win and especially those people that don’t even have a small dish to eat – they’ll be able to enjoy for once of something that should be a right and not a privilege.

Are you joining us?
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TED - Great Online Subtitled Talks


Do you remember TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)? TED is a website that offers hundreds of videos about very interesting topics from important people in the society (more information in this post).

And why are we talking again about TED? Because it has included translations in the videos that are really helpful in the process of learning English.

I’ve seen some of the videos that have been recently added and the majority has the English language available as subtitles; therefore you’ll be able to see written what the speaker is saying. Moreover, there are many other videos that have the subtitles translated to other languages so you might be able to find your native language! :)

TED subtitled

Have a look at the following links for more information:

TED’s website

Web page with information about the translations project

Web page with all the languages that have some translation available

Seen in Teaching and Learning Spanish
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