Intermediate B/K

Saturday, April 09, 2005

All the best

AS you prepare for your exams in week 10, I wanted to say good luck with your study.

I'll see you all on Monday, ready for your first exam at 8.30 am.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Listening topics

You will be asked to talk about one of these topics in your speaking final. You will be given a specific question to talk about.

part time jobs
traditional festivals

You will be marked on
- pronunciation
- fluency (Do you stop a lot? Does the teacher keep having to ask questions?)
- language ie. grammar and vocabulary (especially your ability to use grammar that we have done this term)
- communicative competence (Can you talk about the topic? Can you use conversational strategies? Do you interact with your partner?)

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Jenni Walsa & Karen

Jenni Walsa & Karen 02
Originally uploaded by khaines.
At the school I went to we spent a lot of time singing and playing music. At the reunion we enjoyed singing some old songs and playing some more recent music.

Kangaroo and joey

Kanga 01
Originally uploaded by khaines.
Amazing that we could get this close to kangaroos in the wild. Notice the joey in her pocket. She was unconcerned about being photographed! There were four kangaroos living near the place where we stayed the weekend in Canberra and they could be seen at various times of the day.

Opera House

Opera House 01
Originally uploaded by khaines.
Sydney's famous icon. Perched on the edge of the harbour and with the backdrop of the bridge, it is a stunning building, with the roof like multiple white sails. We went to see Die Fledermaus (opera) here one night.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Easter break

I had a great holiday in Australia over the last week. My husband and I had a couple of nights in Sydney and then went down to Canberra for a school reunion for me. I met up with a number of classmates as well as teachers from a looooooong time ago! Back to Sydney for some shopping before we came back to NZ. The weather was wonderful and we had a lovely time.

I hope you all feel refreshed and ready for the last couple of weeks of term - including the exam week.

I have been checking your individual blogs and am delighted that Gene, Echo and Ivy have been writing on their blogs. Corrections coming for you on Monday, although if you email me I will send them to you online. Some of you others need to do some more writing over the weekend! Coursework is due next week and we will be giving you a mark towards your 15% overall mark. See you all Monday.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Topics for writing this week

Remember you must have at least three pieces of written work on your blog that have been marked by me, and then corrected by you. These count for your coursework, which must be done by week 9. Some of you still need to do some writing...

Here are some of the topics that we looked at in class on Tuesday. Choose one topic and write about it on your blog.

People should live together before they get married.
There is too much advertising in society.
People watch too much television.
Parents should not be allowed to have more than two children.
Sport is a waste of time.
Computers are bad for society.
Violent TV programmes make people violent.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Essay writing 2

Have a look at this website which has a number of different exercises that you might like to use as we start practising essays in class.

Also use the Issues in English listening software in the lab. The issues are topics that often come up in essay writing. You might decide to do some writing on one of the issues and put it on your blog.

Remember that you must hand in three pieces of written work for your coursework. They should be marked by a teacher (Karen or Bronwyn) and then rewritten by you with corrections.

Essay writing

The two things that you can do to practice writing essays are

1. read lots of essays
2. keep writing - a little bit every day

The more essays you read, the more familiar you will become with the structure of essays and the kind of vocabulary we use in this academic writing. WriteFix has some useful sample essays that you can read as well as lots of suggestions about how to write essays.

If you have no idea of topics to practice on for your writing, try some of the ones at this website. There are lots of ideas! You don't need to write a full essay every day. Spread an essay over several days - write 100 words a day.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Writing week 7

Two suggestions for writing this week

1. The use of private cars should be banned.
This is similar but not exactly the same as the topic we looked at in the
computer lab. Think of some of the ideas that we talked about in class and
post a paragraph or two to your blog on the topic.

2. Video games have a negative effect on young people.
We haven't discussed this in class at all, but you can go to parapal's website
and have a go at similar exercises on the topic before you write a paragraph
in your blog.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Practising writing

Most of you want to do some more writing practice, in order to work towards a better mark in your writing final. The genre for the final is an essay. We start looking at essays this week.

To practice, I suggest that you aim to write about 100 words in your blog every day or two. Keep it short, but try to express what you think AND give a good reason for your opinion. Choose an issue that you feel strongly about. A good place to start would be one of the issues in the listening software that you are using 'Issues in English' eg. the environment.

Once a week, I will put some topics here in the blog that you might like to write about as well.

For this week, I asked you to write about social behaviour in your country, after we discussed this in class. Write about 100 - 160 words of advice for someone coming to visit your home town and what they should know about how to behave. Remember, anyone in the world can read your blog, so try to make it interesting. I found some of the things we discussed in class yesterday really fascinating.

For those who have already written about social behaviour, perhaps you could write about Phillip Borell, our class visitor this week. What impressed you most about what he said?

Happy writing...

Monday, March 07, 2005


Hi class,

Sorry I missed teaching you today. Hope you have all recovered from last week with the tests and we can talk about them tomorrow when I'm back.

All the best,

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Vocab answers

Practice test part D.

1. waste of time
2. I started studying
3. working in a bank is boring
4. that's always a challenge
5. there's a lot of job satisfaction
6. watching children develop
7. how tiring and stressful a day with four year olds can be
8. the holidays are quite long
9. the thing I find depressing is ...
10. no chance of promotion

Listening practice

One area that many students say is difficult in English is listening. Here is a website that has some useful practice for you to do before Wk 10's listening assessment.

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab

Try Medium - “Time for a Vacation” to start with.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Answers to Test


Have you got the time?
at home
the second largest country in ...
to have fun doing something
... is by far the ...
to have breakfast
last week
an actor
a good place to eat

spend time sleeping
learn how to play the piano
I enjoy eating out
know a lot about programming computers
reminded us all to bring
is worth seeing
Don't forget to invite ...
found a place to stay
have time for reading
you should definitely go to Lisbon

Sunday, February 27, 2005

About time

It's taken me a while, but I've finally put these photos up for you to have a look at.
Zhang and Qiqi Posted by Hello

Yuko and Moon Posted by Hello


Joanna, Bronwyn and Tommy Posted by Hello

The students who came to our BBQ at Karen's had a great time. We had a very Kiwi lunch - BBQed meat with salad and bread and then pavlova and hokeypokey icecream for dessert.

BBQ at Karen's place Posted by Hello

Tommy and Zhang BBQing Posted by Hello

Friday, February 25, 2005

Chinese Lantern Festival

On this weekend.

Don't miss it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Nice Quote

I came across this quote and thought it was relevant to our class...

Teachers open doors.
You enter yourself

Revision for tests this week

KNOW yourself. Which areas of grammar do you need to practice? After we've gone over work in class, you can see what you need to work again. First of all, go over the notes in the back of the text book on language forms etc. Then, check yourself again at some of the sites below.

Simple past/past continuous

Present perfect/Past simple 1
Present perfect/Past simple 2
Present perfect/Past simple 3
Present perfect/Past simple 4

Comparative and superlative practice - easier
Comparative and superlative practice - more difficult

after, for and since

going to

passive 1
passive 2
passive 3

Feedback on common errors at intermediate level

Monday, February 21, 2005

What surprised us when we arrived in NZ?

I was surprised by the hot weather in NZ because in Japan at the moment it is very cold. I found the early bedtime in NZ surprising because in Japan I go to bed at 1:00 am. Naoko

I was surprised by the price of food. Yang

I felt bored with the night life in NZ.

I was confused by NZ shopping hours. Sunny

I felt surprised by the tattoos that Maori people have on their skin. I was also surprised that you can bungee jump so close to the Sky Tower. Yuko

I felt surprised at the number of Asian students in NZ. Andy

I felt more bored in the weekends, as NZ is very different from China. Echo

Computer class Tuesday morning

You have two jobs to do for homework. Please do this by Wednesday. Remember you can use the computer lab in building 182 from 10.30 - 12.30 every day.

1. Open Internet Explorer. Go into your own blog through
Write down the URL of your news article so other students can go there.
Write down the headline you chose from the news. Explain why you thought this was
an interesting/sad/surprising site.

My example.
Headline: Tickets from traffic police treble
I found this item of news surprising. I didn't realise how many speeding tickets were given out every year! I'm also disappointed that Waitakere city (where I live) gets among the most tickets in Auckland! I've never actually got a ticket myself from a police officer, but once I was caught by a speed camera and had to pay a fine of $60.

2. Have a look at someone else's blog with the news site. Read their posting and go to their news article. Do you agree that it is surprising/sad/interesting? Write a comment on their blog. You can write to more than one person.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Latest blog URLs

Just updating our URLs.

Click on any of the names below to view their blog. If you read someone's posting, click on the comments at the bottom to make your comment. Again, this is an excellent way of practising your writing - with a real purpose. As Gene said in class, this way other people can read your writing. (NB. links are not working as students have not given permission for these blogs to be viewed July 05)


Looks like everyone has a blog that is working now!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Vocab about work

This BBC site gives you more vocab about work, and might be useful.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Vocab site

Here's a vocab site that looks good.

Practice adjective endings at adjectives ending in -ing or -ed

OR try out the quiz on
collocations which is a complicated word meaning words that are often found together.

OR choose an area from the list that you know you need to practice. Phrasal verbs are often worth looking at.

Answers to Vocab module 3 and 4 sheet

  1. to have similar personalities
  2. separated from
  3. impressed by her efficiency
  4. good communication skills
  5. luxury food item
  6. put emphasis on something
  7. She has got engaged.
  8. industry

good memories of your childhood
famous for extreme sports
warm and friendly atmosphere
to afford to buy a car
we're engaged
I don't believe it's entirely true
a wide area
temporary work

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Valentine's Day

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day in your country?

It is something that has become more popular in recent years here, although many people don't do anything to celebrate it. Some people send cards.

Some websites to look at
How much do you actually know about Valentines? Check out this quiz.

More customs round the world and more links for reading.

Write your own Dream Date story for Valentine's Day. The story is created for you but you personalise it. There are three surprise endings once you have filled in your own details. You could put your story on your blog!

Want to talk about your relationship. Here's some appropriate vocabulary.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I am boring or I am bored?

Which is correct? The party was excited. The party was exciting.

The -ed form is often used after phrases such as I feel... or I was ...
The -ing form is used to describe the effect that something has on you.
You might be excited about the party, and you might say that the party was exciting. But parties don't usually have feelings!!!

We have talked about this in class, and will do some more work on it in week 6.

One way to help you remember the difference between -ing and -ed, might be to remember your own sentence like the one below that illustrates the difference between the two forms.
I went to a lecture on Tuesday night which I found very interesting (or which was interesting). I was especially interested in what the lecturer said about ...

Think about the two different meanings of each of this sentence.

I think our class is quite frightening/frightened.

In Module 6 we will do some more practice of these forms. Before then you might like to have a look at someone else's explanation.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Our blogs

Today in class we made our own blogs. The main problem that people had was finding a username that the computer would accept. Some of us tried all sorts of names before we could find one that the computer accepted. If you want to find our blogs click on the names below. (NB. links are not working as students have not given permission for these blogs to be viewed July 05)


Unfortunately Moon and Andy had problems with the site and their writing (which was very good!) got lost. They will both have another go at creating their blog at home.

Remember if you want to add something to your blog, you need to go to and log in with your user name and password. Then you can create a new posting.

Enjoy reading about other members of our class. And feel free to write in your blog whenever you want to.

Wednesday morning

9th February Wednesday
Special opportunity to join other students at Unitec for orientation (beginning of the year introduction). This will begin with a powhiri (Maori welcome), and include a kapahaka performance.

Our normal class will start at 8.30, but at 9.10 we will meet in the carpark and move up to the gym with the other students.

Bring your camera - you can take a photo during the kapahaka only! It is very important that during a powhiri you show respect for your hosts who have invited you into their place. We will talk about this in class.


You are invited to a class party at

Karen's place in West Harbour
Wed 9th Feb
Leave Unitec at 12 pm in the van, with Bronwyn.
BYO (bring your own) meat - some sort of steak (rump or sirloin) is good

Come prepared to do LOTS of talking and eating!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Geography Quiz

Have a look at
to see the results for the biggest city in the world - this is in terms of population, rather than area.

If you're not sure about where some of the places were that we did in this exercise, go to

Another site that has lots of photos and information about historical places or places that you might like to visit is Where would you choose to visit?

Auckland City

Auckland is in the north of New Zealand and is situated in the north of the North Island. It used to be the capital of NZ, and is much bigger than Wellington which is the capital now. Auckland has lots of beautiful scenery and coastline as well as having a busy central business area.

The city of Auckland is spread out over a large area and has a population of about 4 million. For more information have a look at Auckland City or find out what you can do in Auckland. Auckland has two harbours and is surrounded by water. Sometimes there are so many boats out on the Waitemata harbour that it has been called the City of Sails. It is worth going up the Sky Tower, where you can get great views of the whole city, the islands out in the gulf and the many volcanoes on which Auckland is built.

To get to the West Coast, you drive across the Waitakere Ranges. The beaches are quite different to the east coast beaches, with black sand and surf. Muriwai beach is one of my favourites and the gannet colony is worth a visit.

As well as lots of outdoor activities, Auckland offers shopping and tourist attractions such as Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World. Apart from the traffic, which is what I like the least about living here, I have found Auckland a peaceful city, with plenty of things to do including concerts and places to eat. I enjoy the multicultural nature of the city, and being able to go to festivals like Pasifika or the Chinese Lantern festival. To relax, there is nothing better than to go to one of the beaches or the many parks which Auckland is famous for.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

a fun site for the weekend

You might like to try out

I enjoyed playing on this site, and I'm sure it will help speed up your reading.

Friday, January 28, 2005

More about me

I love travelling and had a wonderful holiday in December overseas. I went with Roxanne, my daughter, and we visited some of the places in India where I grew up, and also met up with some old school friends. If you'd like to read more about this, have a look at my blog about our trip. Remember that blogs usually have the latest information at the top, so if you want to read about my trip in the right order you will have to start at the bottom, otherwise you could feel very confused!

When I'm at home, I really enjoy spending time with my family. We usually eat dinner together and sit round the table talking about what we have done during the day. We often have meals with our extended family as well, as both Mark's family and mine all live in Auckland.

I don't spend much time watching TV but prefer to go to the movies or watch a video. I don't have a lot of time to read, but it is my main way of relaxing. I'm really into making cards as well. I'm very interested in online education and spend quite a lot of time on the internet. One thing that I'm not good at is texting. My children keep encouraging me to buy a new phone that can text, but I am so slow at it! I need lots of practice! But I can type really quickly on the computer :)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

First Day

Welcome to our class blog for Term 1.

I hope that you all had a great holiday over Christmas, and spent lots of time practising your English!

We are going to be using the Cutting Edge textbook this term, and you will buy or may have already bought the text book and the workbook to use. There is also a website at Cutting Edge
One area that I suggest you visit is Activities - where you can do a quiz based on our current module. This is a useful revision at the end of each module - even though they are very brief! You might also like to go to Companion Websites which can take you to sites that let you go over grammar points you need to practise.

Today you will start writing your own blog. Your first posting should tell us about you - what kind of things you like doing in your free time and what your long term plans are in either work or study. Please email me and let me know the address of your blog.