Wednesday, 31 December 2014

How to use the word 'NO' in English - All levels


When do we use the word 'no'? Well, not as often as you would think!

For a start it isn't considered polite in English to say 'No' as an answer to a question... you will usually hear locals say.. "Not really" or "I don't think so" or "I'd rather not"or "No thank you."

'No' can be used to compare  "The weather is no better today than it was yesterday."

'Any" or 'No' different
"This place is no different from any other place I've lived... why is it so expensive?"

'No good' or 'No use'
"The film was no good" "This computer is no use. Its so slow!"

Other examples with 'No'

No doubt; "I have no doubt in my mind... you will pass your exams."

No longer; "I no longer feel the need to go out as often as I used to."

No matter who; "No matter who knocks on the door... do not let them in!"

No more;  "No more sweets for you young man! Your teeth will rot!"

No need for; "There is no need for all this fuss, I'll be fine once I've had a good night's sleep."

No problem; "I'll sort it out for you... No problem!"

iFriendly will be touring New Zealand and Australia for the entire month of January 2015.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

English Christmas Food - B2+

Christmas day is just around the corner... 

If you would like to prepare an English dish for this special occasion, look no further!

Here are some of my favourite Christmas recipes;

Jamie Oliver is my favourite chef, I love this man! He has single handily changed British cooking, not just in your own kitchen but also our school food has been revamped as a result, swapping unhealthy cheap food, for good wholesome food at a low cost.

Gordon Ramsey, he's a dude... a little hot tempered, but he's a cool guy and surprisingly short too!
I saw him once, walking down the street in Brighton.
Feast your eyes on his cooking tips for Christmas day... The Pumpkin Soup looks scrumptious!


Mince pies... 'Sorry? Did you say mince? But isn't that meat from a cow?' Nope, mince pies are sweet and delicious!  I hope I will be able to find them in New Zealand, cause there aren't any in this town!

Take a look at this video...

Coming up next... Christmas Vocabulary!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

A cheerful world - All levels

The word 'cheer' is really quite versatile.... 

You may be currently experiencing some Christmas cheer! Meaning that you must be enjoying the holiday season, or the Christmas spirit, etc.

Phrasal verbs with cheer....

Cheer on; to physically encourage someone by clapping, shouting, cheering them on... "I'll be here to cheer you on when the match starts." Cheerleaders do this for a living!

Cheer up; when someone looks sad, we want them to smile. "Cheer up! It's not the end of the world"

Now, for other forms of cheer

Cheerful; Somebody can be cheerful or happy, or they can sound cheerful.  "Jo, you're always so cheerful these days."

Cheerless; The opposite to cheerful, sad.  "What a cheerless crowd of people."

Homework - B1+

Try and write your own sentences with the above words/ phrasal verbs.

Write them down in the comments section and I will check the sentences for you.

Homework B2 +

Can you find any other forms of cheer? 
Look up some synonyms and try to write some sentences.

Homework C1 +

Exam Tip; Use of English can be tough at this level, why not create a table on excel and list all the nouns you learn and their different forms? i.e Adjectives, adverbs, verbs, etc.

Would you like to improve your listening and speaking skills in English? If so, I am offering online classes... Why don't you try a class? The first one is free! Please contact Lisa

Saturday, 6 December 2014

The puzzling world of idioms -Part 5 C1 +

Expressing anger...

Anger is a powerful emotion, it has the potential to take over your mind and body and transform you into a real life Hulk!
Anger is ugly, it affects you, and others who have had the misfortune to be around when it strikes... Although, from the outside, looking back on all the times I've seen others get angry, it does look rather funny.  And I'm sure if I saw myself have a kind of tantrum, it would look rather silly...

Idioms to express anger

To blow a gasket; This is part of a car engine, which is compressed, the gasket seals in the internal combustion. If the gasket blows then you could probably imagine the size of the explosion!
Example: "Your boyfriend blew a complete gasket when I told him what we did... I'm not going near him again when he gets angry!"
What does a gasket look like? Click on the link.

To have a conniption fit; This has to be my favourite one. I like using this to describe my own situations. Example: "I almost had a conniption fit when I found out they had in fact, robbed me blind!" A fit, can also be used on its own to describe an angry episode or even an epileptic fit (I do hope you don't suffer from epilepsy).


tantrum; (noun) to become very angry and unreasonable.

seals in; (phrasal verb) to close with, lock in.

Further study...

Do you know any angry idioms? What are they?

Have a go at describing an angry person you know or even yourself when you are angry.  Can you do this in English?

Would you like to improve your listening and speaking skills in English? If so, I am offering online classes... Why don't you try a class? The first one is free! Please contact Lisa

About Me

My photo


If you have read my blog and want to know more about me ... please read on!

Where are you from?

The short answer would be the south of England, but this is not strictly true.  I was born in Bahrain, and I've lived in Spain, Scotland and England.  When I worked for First Choice (Tour operator), I was sent to work in Almeria, Tenerife, Malaga, Corfu and Bulgaria! Then I moved to Brighton. I had a great time there and met some amazing people (you know who you are)! From there I moved to Alicante to become a teacher.  I got a better teaching position in Toledo with Cambridge English plus, there I spent my days correcting exams, teaching kids and Adults... and now I am residing in Ciudad Real with my life partner.

Why did you become an English teacher?

I've always liked the idea of teaching, but I figured it was a good idea to get some life experience before trying to teach. So, that's what I did! I have worked in tourism, insurance, marketing, health and safety, bars and restaurants! Work experience gives you heaps of anecdotes and stories to teach your students about real life!

Why did you decide to become self-employed?

Well, it was an easy decision, I wanted the freedom and flexibility to teach English through numerous activities, cooking, wine tasting, playing games, etc.  When you work in a school/academy/college you teach the same thing day in day out, students get bored of sitting down at a desk with a book open in front of them, having done this during school hours as well. Through experience I've learnt that it's easier to learn a language when you actually live it! Kids in Spain learn grammar at school, they know how the language works, but they don't get the opportunity to speak.

Why online classes?

I wanted to be able to teach other nationalities and maybe provide a service to people who can't leave their house, or live out in a small village where they don't have access to a language school. Teaching online is intense, it doesn't suit everyone, but the students I have are happy with the classes.

Are online classes better than in person?

If there is a good internet connection, and the student is keen to learn online, then it can be good, but I wouldn't say it was better than in person. Learning online is intense, you have to constantly pay attention, your teacher is able to provide you with visual aids, class notes, etc. You save money on petrol and you save time! When technology improves, it will be possible to join a group, which should be cheaper for you and give you the opportunity to meet other students from around the world!

How do you fill your time?

Well, I keep a blog for my students, the number of readers are increasing everyday, which is encouraging. I won't talk about politics, religion or any subject which may offend any nationality. It's purpose is to give students something to read, which may interest them. Helping them to learn new vocabulary and expressions. I also teach at a nursery in the mornings, and one evening a week I teach children and their parents together! This gives parents the opportunity to learn with their children, making it easier to practise at home. English can become part of your everyday lives!

My teenage group are new, and I love teaching them!

iFriendly Summer project:

Every year I look into summer camps and the options I have to teach during our long hot summers... I have to say there is quite a wide variety of summer camps here in Spain, United Kingdom and Ireland.  I have worked for the Junta de Andalucia and Combination Languages in the U.K.

I love Castilla La Mancha and I would rather stay and teach closer to home... I think I have found what I am looking for.  A stunning little village not 50 minutes from my City... Saceruela.

This year I intend to set up a summer camp for kids, aged 10 -16 from the local schools and academies. In 2016 / 17 I intend to attract students from the U.K and Ireland, those who want to learn Spanish, so that we can teach both languages together.  This will enable iFriendly to provide activities for both nationalities and give everyone the chance to learn from each other. A similar set up to my 'Invasion Friendly' project in Brighton, where Spanish speakers and English speakers got together every week to learn from each other in a social environment. This will also be available for adult learners, but on weekends throughout the year.

Invasion Friendly "To promote cultural integration and change. Give the word invasion new meaning. A safe way for travellers to learn languages."

Check out this stunning village

I teach English through wine tasting events in Ciudad Real, at Taberna Vinalia Check out our events on Facebook.

From April 2014 to December 2014, I worked on a Tourism project in Toledo, due to the long commute I no longer teach the course.

And last but not least, I teach English online!

For Skype English classes Contact Lisa Jane by email