Thursday, November 23, 2006

Extra Writing Task!

Describe an interesting neighbor you have had.

You can either click on comments and write about the topic above, or you can write it on paper and turn it in to your teacher.

BBC Arabic site for English learners

The BBC has a wonderful site for Arabic speakers who are learning English. It's full of interesting things to read and listen to. There are many activities to help you learn. To visit the site, click on the image above or on this link: BBC Arabic for English Learners

Dos & Dont's while visiting Libya

Libya is a big country and has nice weather in general. All people are Muslims and speak Arabic. I can say that Libyan people are peaceful, modest and kind, especially with foreigners.

Most people work at government departments. Some people are interested in agriculture, while others have their own businesses.

Libyan people love their country very much and do not like anyone to make fun of them. Visitors to Libya can realize hospitality and charity.

The national anthem is played everyday at school before lessons, and in other public occasions. When the national anthem is played it's not allowed to make any movement.

Some other don'ts for foreign visitors are:
  • Men shouldn't talk to women.
  • Men shouldn't sit in the back seat of a taxi unless the front one is full.
  • It's not a good idea to withdraw money from a bank by yourself, I mean alone.
  • People will be upset with you if you point at them with your finger, or even make a sign at them.

FCE preparation

My Holiday

You know, I always thought about a holiday that me and my best friends could go on together. Taking that me and all of my best friends share the same interests, which is playing football, swimming, water sports and other kinds of sports.

So my dream holiday would be to cruise to the islands with my best friends because I heard that the islands are so beautiful and such a peaceful paradise, with miles of white sandy beaches fringed by palm trees and not a high-rise building in sight!

And what matters most is that it's known for it's water sports such as water-skiing, snorkeling and scuba diving. My friends and I could go swimming at the beach, and as you know where there's a beach, there's girls!... oh, I mean football.

So my friends and I would spend most of our money there and have a lovely, fantastic time. I hope that I didn't bore you with my holiday. Good bye!

Ahmed Ahtash
FCE preparation


Swimming with dolphins
I love adventures, one of my dreams is to go on a trip around the world. I would like to go to Asia, climbing the Himalaya Mountains, skiing and enjoying the fantastic view of the surroundings and a lot of shopping. I would take with me my best friends; Amandine and Asma. We'll absolutely enjoy the swimming pool and the spa on a luxury cruise.

I'm also mad about history and ancient civilizations, so visiting the famous monuments and ancient sites and seeing how people live in other worlds and cultures will be very interesting.

I think it will be fun to go to Australia where I can enjoy water sports like scuba diving, windsurfing and water skiing. I love dolphins, I hope one day to have the opportunity to swim with them, then I can go for an eco-tour, watching the koalas and kangaroos in the wild world.

Henda Mahmoud
FCE preparation

Visiting Libya: Dos & Don'ts

Libyans are a friendly people, religion is taking an effect in their lives, generally speaking, people wear decent clothes, no shorts or miniskirts in public places.

Positive outlooks are highly valued in Libya, if someone asks, 'How are you?' the correct response is 'Thank God.' and it's also common to say 'Asalam Alikom.', which means 'Peace be upon you.', when you come or leave.

Women don't shake hands with men, it is not a good idea to speak to a woman you don't know if you are a male.

The map of Libya is very important, so bring a map because most of the streets don't have signs or are marked.

When you visit someone in his house or you are invited to a Libyan house, don't forget to bring presents like sweets, chocolates, etc.

Some other dos and don'ts for foreign visitors are:
  • Remove your shoes when you enter Libyan's houses.
  • Don't smoke unless you ask permission.
  • Don't sit behind the taxi driver if you are alone.
  • Don't take pictures of people unless you ask first.
  • Don't enter mosques unless you are a Muslim.

Abdunnabi Mohamed
FCE preparation

If You're Visiting Iraq ...

Iraq is a big country where you will see a lot of palm trees. When you go to Iraq you will see a wonderful country especially in Baghdad. There are rivers; the Dejla and Forat (their Arabic names). But unfortunately the situation there now has gone from bad to worse, after the invasion. Now Iraqi people are living in fear. If you are in Iraq now, you should stay in your home to avoid the worse. You shouldn't walk in the streets at night.

You shouldn't speak with strange people because you can't know about what they want, maybe he is a thief or bad person, maybe he's carrying a bomb. Sometimes they are good people, but you need to be careful. In the current situation you shouldn't speak about the political system.

About the rules of my country:

  • In schools there is one style of clothes for the students. If you study in one of Iraq's schools you shouldn't change from the style of the school.
  • You shouldn't drink alcohol. If you are not Muslim you shouldn't enter mosques.
  • You shouldn't smoke in hospitals or any healthy places.
  • You should respect the security men, it's a good idea to stay away from problems.
  • You should stand when you hear the national anthem and repect the flag when it is raised. People will be upset if you don't pay respect during the national anthem.
Hadeel Sadoon
FCE preparation

Visiting Korea

Diamond Mountain (Keumgangsahn) in North Korea

First of all I want to say 'Welcome to Korea!' I don't have many ideas about Korea even though I'm Korean. Anyway I'll try to help.

Korea is a very well-ordered society like the USA. When you visit Korea you shouldn't worry about taking a map of the city centre, because our government will serve you a guide and also a translator. You should take care with people because they're not very optimistic with foreigners, but they're very kind. You don't have to dress in any special way, you can just wear decent clothing.

In Korea, people don't shake hands, they bow, moving their heads down to show a greeting, but you don't have to do this, they shake hands with foreigners.

Also the level of patriotism in Korea is very high, like in the USA. You can see the national flag everywhere, in the streets, it flies over every school and on buildings and on the balconies of many houses.

It's a good idea to tip your waiter but it's not necessary. You should discard litter only in a bin. You shouldn't smoke in public places.

... In Korea there are many places to visit and have fun; mountains, falls and caverns, etc. And even in the city centre, there are many museums, old buildings and towers etc.

Have a nice time!

So Un Ha
FCE preparation

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Abdeldeem's Dream Car

If I had a Hummer car I'd want to travel all the world. The first country I'd visit would be India. Then I'd want to see China and visit old historical places. I'd visit Thailand and go to the Himalaya Mountains. Then I'd go to Africa because Africa has many kinds of animals and I'd like to catch them because it's fun.

I'll go to the pyramids to see how they were built and I'll go to France to see the Eiffel Tower. I'll go to Italy to visit the beach and stay there for three days. Then I want to go to Germany and to travel to America. I will visit the deserts of America and Mexico.

B3 - Pre-intermediate

Dream Cars

In my dreams there are a lot of cars because I like cars very much, so I can't choose only one car to write about but I'll write about two cars that I want.

The first is a Ferrari Enzo. It costs about one million dollars. It's a sport car and it's my favourite car, it's very expensive. The second car is the latest model of Mercedes Benz S600. It's a luxury car.

In fact I can't buy these cars because they are very expensive. Now my real dream is only a new car. A new car today costs not less than 12,000 Libyan dinars. When I get a new car I would like to visit most cities in Libya, my country, to see the mountains, lakes, deserts and forests.

Adel Ali
B3 - Pre-intermediate

An Italian Dream Holiday

I would like to take a vacation next summer. I will go to Italy with my friends and I'll stay for seven days.

Italy is an old country. The weather in Italy is very wet and hot but I like it. I like Italy because it has a lovely sea and swimming pools, I'd like to swim there. Italy has good food too. I'd like to eat pizza and eat in restaurants in Italy and I'd like to walk in the old cities. I would like to see many things about Roman history and I'd like to sit in front of the seaside and drink coffee and smoke.Italy has many forests, mountains and lakes. There are many stores and shops. I'd like to go shopping and buy new clothes to wear. I'll stay in a hotel when I'm in Italy.

B3 - Pre-intermediate

My Last Holiday

My last holiday was very exciting. The first thing I would like to write about is the day in the airfield. It was very enjoyable because I love to travel by airplane. I feel I'm like a bird, I can go from one locale to another one and I see my family.

I arrived in Jordan at about 12 am then I went to my apartment but I didn't take any rest. I took a shower, then changed my clothes, after that I went to a restaurant to eat the best meal ever - shawarma. Then I went to the mall and went shopping. That night I went to a party and I came home about 3:30 in the morning. I stayed in Jordan for about seven days then we went by car to Syria.

I arrived in Damascus at 2:30 in the afternoon and stayed there for two days. After that I took a bus to the country. It's very nice, it's name is Jablh in the north of Syria.

I stayed in Jablh for two weeks, then I took a small bus to Turkey were I stayed for four days. After that I came back to Syria. Syria is very nice and all travel is very nice because in the morning I went to the old market, in the evening I went swimming att he beach and at night I went to the Casino. After four weeks I came back to Libya.

Esraa Mohammed
B3 - Pre-intermediate

My Dream Car

I'd like a sports car that's very fast with big tires and two doors. About the engine, I'd like it to be a very strong engine with turbo power. It will have headlights and I want it like a convertible. For music I'd like a CD player with cassette and big speakers. In the back I want small, long taillights and I'd like a blue or dark blue car (I want a Ford Mustang GTi).

I would go in my Mustang to my farm to visit my grandmother and I'd like to drive to Egypt, Tunisia, Ghadames and Sebha. I'd like to go with my friends to the beach too.

This is not the end, it's just the beginning!

B3 - Pre-intermediate

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dance Mat Typing

The BBC Schools website has a fun game to help you learn to type. This is fun for all levels of learners and is a good way for beginner students to practice the alphabet. Visit the site and have fun! Here's the link: Dance Mat Typing

Online Dictionary

Here's an online dictionary that's fast! : Ninjawords

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Hilary's Long Day

Hilary sat down on the sand and wondered why everything had gone wrong. A rather strange and ambiguous sentence maybe, but let's look back to the beginning of the story to know the reason.

"Hilary, wake up!" Hilary's mom called out "The airplane will take off in about two hours." "Oh please mom. Can you call the captain to delay the take off of the plane? I want to sleep!" Hilary said from under the warm covers of her bed. "we are not playing Hilary. I said WAKE UP." Hilary's mom spoke loudly. "OK!" Hilary replied. She went to the bathroom to take a shower "Oh why is there no water?" Hilary said to herself "OK, I'll take it when I arrive in Australia."

So she went downstairs quickly to eat her breakfast but she found that they had nothing to eat in the house. It was empty because they were moving to Australia. "OK. No problem. I'll eat when I arrive in Australia." thought Hilary. She went upstairs to take her suitcase and a little birthday gift she had received from her deceased father. "Where is it?" She looked out the window and found someone running. "A thief!" He had stolen the gift from her which was a beautiful jewel, but there was no time to call the police.

She took her suitcase and went downstairs only to find that her mother had already taken a taxi to the airport and left her a letter asking her to join her there. She went down to the street to search for a taxi but the city was empty and the airplane was about to take off!

Next a lot of things happened. First she stole her neighbour's car but it seemed she could get no where because the traffic was so thick. Next she nearly hit a small kitten with the car! Finally she arrived at the airport. The check in was so difficult because she had forgotten to bring her ID, but after some time they let her pass and board the plane.

At long last the airplane was moving. "Something is wrong with this airplane. It's vibrating!" Hilary exclaimed.

Tk....Tk..... Tuk....... BOOM!

Thirty minutes after take off the airplane crashed. "Where am I?" Hilary asked herself as she woke up. She was sitting down on the sand in front of the sea. "Why had everything gone so wrong?"

Ahmed Aboughrara
FCE Preparation

Friday, November 10, 2006

What's a cinquain?

A cinquain is a five line poem that is written in a specific way:

Line 1 - Title (one word) - either a subject or a noun
Line 2 - Description (two words) adjectives that describe Line 1
Line 3 - Action (three words) action verbs that relate to Line 1
Line 4 - Feeling - (four to six words) feelings or a sentence that relates to Line 1
Line 5 - Synonym - (one word) either a synonym or a word that sums it up

Here are some cinquain poems that were written by some of our Making Progress to FCE students:

Smart, funny
Loving, laughing, and joking
I just like her when she smiles.

My Family
So big, so close
Visiting, loving, giving
A lot of people but one heart.

Taha Alnatoh


Busy, crowded
Living, working, enjoying
Living in the city is very interesting.

Wide and deep
Swimming, sailing, looking
Walking on the beach is sweet.

So Un Ha


Speaking gently
Loving, sociable, friendly
I feel strange when I find him sitting alone.

Hafez Melad


Warm, kind
Covering, brightening, loving
Sun is always warm and lovely.

Kim Su Ryon


Sunny, green
Giving, feeding, warm
I'm praying to Allah to keep it safe.

Useful, friend
Teaching, helpful, amusing
Read all the book you can.

Pretty, attractive
Loving, caring, fun
You can't feel happy without her.

Elmehdi Mohamed

Pronunciation & Phonetics

This is a fantastic interactive site to help you with pronunciation and phonetics!
Using this website is a fun way to learn!
Click on the image above or on this link: Pronunciation & Phonetics

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Daily Quiz

There is a new quiz every day at GetTOEFL. The quizzes are useful for students who are planning to take the TOEFL test but they are also useful for IELTS, FCE, Upper Intermediate and Advanced level students.

Here's the link: GetTOEFL