Cats and Dogs - a blog for English learners

Occasional tips and tricks to help you learn more than the useless phrase "it's raining cats and dogs", brought to you by Craig Meulen, an English teacher in Germany. (Blog discontinued.)

September 13, 2008

Penguin Readers - books and audio books for all levels

The "Penguin Readers" collection from the Penguin publishing house are a VERY useful and enjoyable series of books for people learning English.

There are 6 different levels, so you can pick books that are just right for you: You can read the story without a dictionary, because the words and the grammar are at the right level for you to understand. New and difficult words are explained in simple English in the book.

Many of the books are famous novels - they have been re-written to make them easier. Many are the books from famous films. And there is some non-fition, too.

And many of the books have an audio CD. So when you have read the book once and know the story, you can listen to it on CD. This is also good when you are driving, cooking or ironing, for example, because the English is in the background. You know the story already and don't have to listen with your full attention.

Direct Link (English site)

Longman Germany

My tip: Look in the online catalogues above and find the books you want. Note the ISBN number and then take this to your local independent bookshop, who will order it for you. (Support local specialist shops!!)

Labels: ,

Present Perfect - practical example

So here is a perfectly formed question in the 'present perfect':

Has the Large Hadron Collider Destroyed the World Yet?

What is that? Well, it is the biggest physics experiment in the world. Look up 'CERN' in Wikipedia (link to 'Simple English') or your favourite search machine (mine is 'Clusty') and you will find lots of information about the centre in Switzerland.

There are a lot of people who are worried about this new experiment - they believe that it will create little 'black holes'. These black holes could then grow and ... swallow the world!

Here's the link to the question (and the answer).

Your homework :-)
Q) How many possible answers are there to the question above? Please write them in full using the 'present perfect'!!


September 8, 2008

Fight the Fog - Tips for Advanced Students

Although this document is written for translators at the European Union, it is written in an informal style and is quite easy to understand. So it's very very useful for any advanced students who want to improve their English and make sure that people reading their documents don't fall asleep!!