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Friday the 17th of July, 2009
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GET-5

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning!

Hoy es la quinta y última Essential Weekly Vitamin sobre el versátil verbo inglés GET. (Hoy también es la última Essential Weekly Vitamin hasta el lunes 14 de septiembre.)

Hay docenas de phrasal verbs (verbos frasales) con el verbo GET. Algunos tienen significados que corresponden estrechamente con sus componentes, por ejemplo get away significa to escape (escapar). Pero otros tienen que ser memorizados; por ejemplo, get at puede significar to discover the true facts about something (descubrir los hechos reales sobre algo) o to try to suggest something without saying it directly (intentar sugerir algo sin decirlo directamente).

Mira los ejemplos a continuación.

Example 1:
The prisoner tried to get away, but the guard was able to stop him.
(El prisionero intentó escaparse, pero el guardia pudo detenerle.)

Example 2:
There is an attempt to keep the press from getting at the truth about Michelle's past.
(Se intenta impedir a la prensa obtener la verdad sobre el pasado de Michelle.)

Example 3:
What are you getting at? Why don't you just say what you mean directly?
(¿Qué estás intentando decir? ¿Por qué no dices lo que quieres decir directamente?)

No hay ningún secreto para aprender phrasal verbs, pero es necesario tener claro sus significados y organizarlos en tu cerebro. Mantener tu propia "lista activa" de phrasal verbs es una opción que funciona bien para muchos alumnos.

I hope you have a great weekend and an excellent summer!



Thursday the 16th of July, 2009
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ENGLISH IN THE SUMMER-4

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning.

Today is our last Daily Vitamin until Monday, September 14th, and tomorrow we will send our last Essential Weekly Vitamin until Friday, September 18th.

Before we sign off (despedirnos), we would like to remind you again of the importance of staying in contact with English during your holidays.

For suggestions, you can download the document "Fresh Summer English" from the Resources section on our website.

Again, there is nothing magic about these suggestions, and they only represent a fraction of the possibilities, but I hope they will motivate you to find your own way of keeping your English fresh in the summer.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post your comments by clicking on the "Add a Comment" button in the Daily Vitamin section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Remember that tomorrow we will send the Essential Weekly Vitamin for Spanish-speaking students of English.

I hope you have a good day and an excellent summer. I'll see you in September.



Wednesday the 15th of July, 2009
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ENGLISH IN THE SUMMER-3

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning.

Today we continue our look at ideas for keeping your English alive in the summer.

This year we didn't receive as many suggestions as last year (I think a lot of people are already on holiday, or just tired of me), so following are some suggestions from our readers from this year and last year:

1) Read a little English every day, both silently and aloud to improve pronunciation. Graded novels created especially for different English levels are an excellent option. Anna S. suggested reading newspapers or magazines in English instead of the Spanish press.

2) Making video and cinema in English a part of your leisure activities during the holiday months can keep your comprehension abilities keen and help you to improve your vocabulary. Mónica G. explains what she does: on Saturday I bought the first series of 'Desperate Housewives' and 'Six feet under' in DVD. As I like watching them, I will do it in English firstly, with English subtitles, and then again without them. I think it will be enjoyful!

3) Jordi suggests playing computer games. As he said, it's a way to practice English comprehension in a relaxing environment.

4) Anna M. suggests translating songs from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English. As she explains, it's a good way to forget how horrible the summer songs are by concentrating on their linguistic translation.

5) And of course if you like grammar, you may want to dust off that old grammar book and consider revising a bit each day, or every other day.

There are thousands of other possibilities, but I think you get the idea. There is nothing "magic" about these ideas, but they work. The trick is to create a plan and follow it.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post your comments by clicking on the "Add a Comment" button in the Daily Vitamin section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

I hope you have a good day.



Tuesday the 14th of July, 2009
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ENGLISH IN THE SUMMER-2

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Good morning everybody,

Today we continue with the topic of ways of keeping our English alive during the summer holidays. I want to thank all of you who sent in your suggestions yesterday, which we will include in tomorrow's Daily Vitamin.

Imagine coming back after summer with your English at the same level or even better than when you left. It is possible, but you must make the choice to do something with English during the holidays and WRITE IT DOWN! Don't just say it or think it, write down a plan, follow it and keep track of your progress during the summer.

A plan could be as simple as "I will read aloud for 3 minutes every day during my summer holidays" or "I will read an English book at the rate of at least two pages per day during my summer holidays," etc. It doesn't have to be complicated, but it must be something measurable that you can keep track of on a calendar or in your agenda. As one of our Daily Vitamin recipients once said, "find something that you really like, choose a hobby maybe, and try to do it in English."

On more than one occasion, I have had students return from their summer holidays having improved their English. It is possible...I promise!

Tomorrow we will look at some specific suggestions. Until then, have a great day!



Monday the 13th of July, 2009
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ENGLISH IN THE SUMMER-1

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Good morning,

In summer there is a tendency to forget about English. We are planning our holidays (or already on holidays), finishing up projects at work and slowly disconnecting from the "rat race." Disconnecting from the rat race is a good thing, but treating English like a seasonal activity, rather than a daily lifetime activity, could be the thing that is keeping you from reaching your desired level!

Unfortunately, interest in learning English comes in cycles. Interest is greatest in September and October, after the summer holidays, and in January and February, at the beginning of the New Year. This cyclical tendency causes many students to constantly spend their lives taking one step forward and two steps back with their English learning.

Don't slow down now! While you're planning for your summer, think about how you can keep your English alive during your holidays. Perhaps you will be travelling to an English-speaking country. If you won't be travelling, don't worry... there are lots of things that you can do to maintain your English, and even improve it, without leaving your home! Do you have any ideas for summer English-maintenance activities?

This week we will review some ideas for keeping your English alive in the summer, but I would also like to include some of our readers' suggestions; if any of you have ideas of good activities that we can use to keep our English strong in the summer, please let us know and we will include them in a Daily Vitamin this week.

The first step to keeping your English alive in the summer is thinking about what you will do to achieve your goals. So send us your ideas. ;-)

Have an excellent day!