Cooking vocabulary

Have you ever crushed garlic?

Listening activity

1. Read the words in the box and use them to complete the gaps from the passage below. Try to complete whatever you can before you listen to/watch the video. Look up the meaning of those words you do not know. The sentences in the passage are not necessarily the same in the audio, but they are part of the instructions on how to crush garlic. You should be able to complete.

Peel-crush-chop-sprinkle over-scrape up-squish-squash-bulb-cloves

How to ______ garlic by hand

  • Start with a whole ________ of garlic.
  • Get your separate ______ from the ______ with just a good __________
  • ______ cloves by _______ them lightly with the flat of a knife and the heel of your hand.
  • _______ garlic finely, then ______ _______ a little salt.
  • Use the flat of the blade and a paddling motion to __________the _____________ garlic, working your way across the pile. 
  • ____________ ____ the garlic into a pile and _______ again, repeating this two or three times until you have a fine paste.

2. Now listen to it – Click here!

3. ONLY after you have listened to it as many times as it can be necessary to accomplish the task, watch the video below or Click here. 

This is it!



Start with a whole bulb of garlic. Get your separate bulbs from the cloves with just a good squish.

Peel cloves by crushing them lightly with the flat of a knife and the heel of your hand.

Chop garlic finely, then sprinkle over a little salt.

Use the flat of the blade and a paddling motion to squash the chopped garlic, working your way across the pile. Scrape up the garlic into a pile and crush again, repeating this two or three times until you have a fine paste.

Quick tips

Feeling bored? What about boosting your vocabulary during these crazy times of covid19? My suggestions are three and they come from the Cambridge dictionary team. Short and simple. Just click the links and start learning.

Cambridge image dictionary quiz – you choose what vocabulary areas you want to revise and learn.

Create a word list while reading or during your online classes Avec Sue – it will make your brain work twice to retain the new word. Big chances are you won’t easily forget them. But if you do, they will be registered in your list of new words so you can check them whenever you need.

Grammar quizzes – some grammar topics deserve more practice. Choose one and start practising.

This it it!

A lingua portuguesa

A lingua portuguesa é a oitava lingua mais falada do mundo. Está presente em quatro continentes e é a lingua de interesse de muita gente. Gente que gosta de ler romances em língua original e de viajar e ser capaz de se comunicar respeitosamente com os habitante locais.

Essa lingua linda e cheia de variantes, assim como todas as línguas, é originaria do Latim vulgar. O latim vulgar era a lingua levada pelos soldados romanos para as areas conquistadas pelo império romano, que tinha o latim como lingua oficial.

O curioso de tudo isso é que dessa dilatação, vamos dizer, do latim, empenhada pelas conquistas do império romano, surgiram diversos dialetos e finalmente diversas outras línguas que vieram ser chamadas de línguas românicas como o francês, o italiano, o romeno, o espanhol… e finalmente o português la pelo século XIII.

Por meados do século XVI começam os estudos gramaticais da lingua portuguesa. E muita historia depois com expansão de territórios e guerras e conquistas, o português é hoje a lingua atual do Brasil e de diversos países lusófonos. Sao mais de 230 milhões de pessoas falando essa lingua. 

‘E bom lembrar que a primeira lingua oficial de Portugal foi o galego-português e que no Brasil antes da chegada dos portugueses ja se falavam diversas línguas indígenas, algumas até hoje vivas. Por isso, no vocabulário atual do português falado no Brasil, o vulgar brasileiro, ha muitas e lindas palavras indígenas.

Que tal aprende-las?

Online or offline language courses?

Online courses

Are you considering studying online? What holds you back? Technology phobia? Lack of confidence in the modality? Love for physical contact with teachers and students? Many things may be moving us against the online teaching modality. But, think twice. It doesn’t change much. Online you still have a teacher. Online you still have things to do and study and read. Online you still have chances to meet new people. Online you can still control your time, your money and better yet, you are the one to choose where you are going to get your course; on your sofa, your office, while you’re waiting on a line… Online, you change but learning still takes place.

When you are not that confident in the online modality and if you think you will not learn much, choose a one-on-one online course. A one-on-one online course will be suitably designed for you. You will have a teacher that will be following your steps on learning and guiding your studies by providing you with activities and honest-punctual feedback. You will not be alone facing a screen and listening and reading things that were previously put there for you or anybody else. Your learning will be personalized and student-oriented. The human side is still there. You will have a person to talk to and from whom you will be learning a lot.

Offline courses

Your choice yet is for an Offline course? Great. That is also a good choice. If you have time to do so, go for it. Offline courses offer fantastic learning moments. Whether you are alone with a teacher or taking part in a group, that will help you in many different ways. Not to mention the joy of being able to share experiences. But consider that you will have to have transport and time to move from one place to another. Other than that, learning will also take place. It is up to you.

About certified teachers

Online and Offline courses must have both one objective only: help you achieve your goals. Do not worry much if you have a so-called ‘native’ speaker of English or a ‘non-native’ speaker of that language (or any other). Your worry must be about the professional who will help you achieve your goals. Native or non-native, they all must be real teachers. They must know what they are doing and how to help you learn how to learn that new language. A real teacher, a person who studied to be so, will most appropriately identify your needs and coach your learning actions. A professional in language teaching will do much more than showing you how good are his vocabulary and pronunciation in that language; he or she will teach you and motivate you to get to the top of your ambitions in an organized and honest way.

If learning from a person who was not born in an English Speaking country worries you, trust technology and teachers certification. These days authentic material is abundant on the internet. Certified teachers whether ‘native speakers’ or not, online or offline, should bring language from many different authentic sources such as films, songs, tv programs, journals, news… The world has become a village and you will speak in English with people from many different parts of the globe. Your teacher does not need not be your sole model. Learning from a native speaker should be the least of your worries.

Keep coming back. I love your visit.


Listening and speaking activity – Levels A and B

Listening and speaking activity to practice the verb to be in the present and present continuous.                           

  This is a very simple listening activity. All you have to do is to click the link below to listen to the people speaking and write down whatever you get. You can stop and continue up to three times the same fragment. 

⇨  The verb to Be audio sentences

Look at the picture below and create a situation. Record yourself while you talk about it.

While telling what the situation is about, think of 1 the names you want to give to the people on the picture; 2 where they are; 3 what the weather is like; 4 what they are doing; 5 what is happening; what they are going to do next. 

Answers to exercise A

Published by Suelen Viana from English Avec Sue

A pre-A1 lesson

How does a teacher prepare his lessons? He studies, ponders, creates, analyzes, and applies. After it, sometimes he will smile and other times he will cry. – Sue A. Viana

On this post today I wanted to share a lesson prepared for a pre-A1 student. The theme of the lesson was introductions and greetings. The teaching target was pronunciation and spelling of names, forms of greetings, introducing oneself and the alphabet. I am not sharing all the lessons, just the first slides of some. It will let you know what a first pre-A1 (7-14 years old) class with me may be like.

These are photos of some animated slides. They originally have audio and video.

The names I picked from Pre A1 starters test material shared by Cambridge assessment English
The video used here is the one about introductions and greetings from English Singsing and I use it for kids up to 10 years old.

That is it. Thank you for sharing this space with me. Readers are also writers. Let me know what you think and how you would make it better.


Being a language teacher…

Being a language teacher is not going to make you rich. Unless you open a youtube channel and become a celebrity. Nonetheless, it is surely a job that will bring you some good moments of joy and lots of frustrations. I have always enjoyed being a teacher and had ups and downs in doing so.

My moments of joy have been many and I can list some:

  • Meeting interesting and amazing people from all different ‘tribes’.
  • Growing knowledge about human intelligence and motivations.
  • Self-development.
  • Preparing fantastic lessons.
  • Making unforgettable friendships.
  • Good bosses
  • Traveling.
  • Going to great parties.
  • Feeling powerful somehow

As for the moments of frustrations, I also can add to the list :

  • Poor results with difficult students.
  • Angry and impatient parents.
  • Challenging and unprepared bosses.
  • Not knowing or remembering something that I should.
  • Being compared to ‘native speakers’ of English.
  • Failing important exams.
  • Failing to prepare a fantastic lesson.
  • Feeling unappreciated.
  • Not going to the best parties because the next day it was teaching day.

What about you? Do you have things to add to the list?


Teaching plugged-in

It’s been three years since I last entered a classroom to teach big groups as I used to. Of course, I miss it a lot.

To deal with that gap in my career after the birth of my daughter and after moving to France I became a mom-teacher. My little daughter had no option. I was decided to start some home-schooling days with her. And I did it! She loved it and learned a lot. But she is four now and going to full-day school in France which means that my sole student will no longer have time for my classes. OMG!

No panic, though! The Internet came to stay and become part of our lives. Didn’t it? I had no longer my favorite student but I still had many things in mind. Time to a new project which I called ‘teaching plugged-in’.

Teaching plugged-in meant to me teaching online (or blending online and face-to-face ) counting basically with all up-to-date tools and educational technologies I could grasp. Apps, Sites, Dictionaries, Youtube channels, LMS, social media and press. I had always liked the idea of teaching unplugged by Scott Thornbury and Luke Meddings . Dogme ELT approach would be a challenging but productive way to guide my classes. This could be the base of my one-on-one classes. However, I was not prepared for the art of improvising professionally. I still felt the need of having something well-prepared. So I came up with ‘teaching plugged-in’ instead of teaching unplugged, even though Dogme was still part of the approaches I love to use.

What I do is what all traditional good teachers do: I study and prepare lessons before I meet my students. I study the possible themes that might come into a conversation during a lesson, I prepare material related to them (with videos, audios, books, journals, songs, article…), I try to have at least one prepared stuff for writing, reading, listening and speaking opportunities and build up my archive. The lessons prepared and applied end up inspiring the next to come. Thus, after a lesson, I always have new lessons ideas material to create and gather. There is still place to improvisation, but that’s not the basis.

As an example, once I selected the theme ‘working spaces and facilities’ to a B1 student and after the first 30 minutes, the student talked about his experience being a master of ceremony in a wedding. I guided the talk and we ended up with a list of wedding vocabulary, some revision on past perfect and simple past and a listening activity on my best friend’s wedding. It wasn’t planned but it worked well because I had my archive on wedding and on the grammar the student wanted to clarify at that moment to narrate his experience. Learning took place in the most natural possible way. It was an online student-centered class, by the way.

In this kind of classes, the teacher knows how he is going to start the lesson because he had a complete lesson prepared; however, he never knows if the lesson will follow as he previously planned or if he will intertwine his plans with his ready to use material. Any good opportunity is a good reason to change plans and create a more personalized and meaningful moment of learning. So the first plan is just a bite to unveil another.

Finally, there is no good reason to stop teaching and learning.


Teaching kids

teaching kids


Teaching kids is a professional task that should be carefully and seriously prepared. Kids are fun but they are also very challenging in a sense that they are delicate and surprising. Here are 5 important things to consider when you teach kids.


Are you attentive enough to their signs? Kids communicate with their eyes and actions much more than we may think. So when you step into any place to teach no matter how many kids: pay attention! Pay attention to what they are doing, saying, or to what they are not doing or not saying. Just look at their eyes and let them notice that you care.


Kids learn better from people they like. They will love you if they feel you can treat them well; if you are loyal to your principals; if you are consistent with your actions; if your no means no and your yes means yes; if you play and laugh with them.


You can teach kids if you have a variety of ways to offer them opportunities to learn. kids need routine, it is a fact, but they hate repetitive uninteresting learning. They need to be exposed to the same thing in many different ways. If they are to learn how to say goodbye in English, do not pass the whole class trying the same song or the same game.


Time is crucial to teach kids. This is very connected to the item above. Variation and time are best friends. Depending on their ages, kids will need more or less time in an activity. Of course, it also depends on their interest in the activity proposed, but most of the time 3 to 5 minutes in the same activity is enough for kids up to 6.


Kids have families who love (or at least should love) them. This is why you have probably received those kids. Families care about their kids. They did not decide to put their kids to learn something with you just because they wanted free time. It is most probably because they want their kids to be happier, to have better opportunities to grow and become great adults; their kids are their most precious treasure. Connect with their families. Respect their culture and decisions and show them that you know what you are doing and that what you are doing is good for their kids.


Português brasileiro para estrangeiros

Online classes of Portuguese as a foreign language. If you leave in Essonne, France you can have it partially online and partially face-to-face at home. I am Sue and you can get to know more about me here .

@ave. Sue

That’s not my dinosaur – English for kids.

That’s not my dinosaur!

Usborne has published a series of books called That’s not my … My daughter won That’s not my dinosaur and I have used it for our one-to-one English classes time. There is a lot we can do with it as teachers of English or simply as parents exposing English to kids through reading. I came up with some of the ideas below and tested with my three-year-old girl. She loves it.

If you are in France, you can buy it here.

There they go, the ideas. I adapted my one-to-one moments to possible groups (which I don’t have now, but I followed my previous experiences with kids groups). Hope it works for you. Have fun!

Age : 3 to 6 (select according to your group’s age and pace)

Theme: dinosaurs

Book: That’s not my dinosaur, Usborne edition (or any other book of dinosaur which language you may explore and adapt to class. Just use my ideas as guide)

SWBEST: students will be exposed to new vocabulary (adjectives and nouns) to make description and stimulated to use them in speaking, colouring, sorting activities and in games.

Target vocabulary: dinosaurs’s names; parts of dino’s body – tail, head, teeth, flippers, horns, spines; description adjectives – big, small, soft, rough, slippery, bumpy, and fuzzy.

Recycled vocabulary: big , small, number 1 to 10 and colors.

Time: meetings of one hour.

The Plan

Material: book, colouring papers, crayons, glue, modelling clay, music, some dinosaurs (of any kind and different sizes and material), smart board and internet connection in case you chose the connected activities.

Meeting 1 – name the dinosaurs

I’ll post the others in the following days. They are 6 in total.

Pre-reading: Put the dinosaurs in a  soft bag before coming in. Organize kids in a circle sitting on the floor (if possible). Ask [them to touch your bag and say what you have there. They may not put their hands inside. Let them guess. React to their guesses! After that, you let them put their hands in the bag and guess again. While they touch (one kid after another) ask them if the thing they touch is nice to touch or not. Ask students to close their eyes. Take the Dino out of the bag and put in the middle of the circle. Learners open their eyes. What was in the bag? – you ask. Learners say: a dinosaur. Then you praise those who first guessed, if any. 

Reading: Get the book and bring learners close to you. Tell them they are going to read the book with you. Read the book. Let them follow your fingers while listening to you. Let them touch the book to feel it (it is a touchy-feely book). Then, when you finish it, open the pages and ask them to answer some question about the book.

Post-reading: these questions are supposed to be asked and answered by the teacher together with learners. It is just perfect if any learner is able to answer without any help. But they are being asked to recycle language they already know (like colors, big, small) and to be exposed to language they may not know yet (the target language). So, there is no big problem if they do not say much at this point. Learners answer by pointing or touching or speaking. It is time for teacher to call attention to all details concerning the target language. It’s input time.

We just have to keep in mind that kids do not keep long in the same activity. 5 minutes is already too much.

Example of questions:

  1. Wow. Look at this dinosaur. Is it big? This dinosaur is really big. What color is it? Where is the tail of the dinosaur? 
  2. What color Is this dinosaur? Where’s its mouth? Where are tits teeth?
  3. What color is this dinosaur? Does it have legs? How many?
  4. What color is this dinosaur? Where is its head? What is on its head? 
  5. Does it have horns? How many?
  6. What color is this dinosaur? Does it have spines? What color are the spines? 

Follow-up ( FU)

The follow up activities may vary according to groups pace and age. And it is not a good idea to choose more than one target language group per meeting.

FU 1 – name the dinosaur (names are big and difficult even to us but it is fun having kids trying to say them. I use the first part of their names only to begin. Brachio, Ptero, Stego…

  • PPT to be used/adapted in smartboard: dinosaurs (send me an email and you will get it)
  • Puzzle : dinosaur (get a dino printed image. Cut it and give to kids so they can make the puzzle)
  • Sorting: circle the T-rex dinosaurs only

FU 2

Dancing chairs 

  • 1 – Put the picture of a dinosaur under each chair. Play the song. Stop the song. Kids sit down. Kids get the dino under the desk. They have to say the name of the dino. If they do not know the dino’s name they ask for help and the others try to help. When they have all finally said it the dance continues. The challenge is not the chair, it is to say the names with no help.
  • 2 – Put the dinos under their desk. Play the song. They walk and dance around the chairs. Stop the song. Kids sit. You call a dinosaur. They get the dino under their desk. The one who got the dino you called gets a stick to show he is a dinosaur expert. 

Dancing corners

Put one item related to the target language that was previously taught in different places at your teaching space (classroom, garden, hall, playroom). Put a song. Kids dance. Stop the song. You say: I see a T-rex somewhere. Kids run to the corner where there is a T-rex and they say ‘T-rex’. You praise and play the song again. Stop the song and keep it going on and on and stop the game when you notice they are getting too much of it.

 *I don’ use SWBAT because my experience says that teachers expose learners to new items and give them opportunities to use them in different situations. Learners do not usually leave our time together being able to do what we expected them to (despite our efforts). However, having been exposed and given the practice opportunities will give them some input to the target language to the point when – maybe some days after exposure – they will be able to use them naturally.  This is why I prefer to say that they ‘will be exposed and stimulated’ instead of ‘will be able to’. 

 **Sometimes mixing L1 and L2 is not a big problem as long as you keep it mostly in L2 and if L1 is used to make things quickly clear when trouble is big. This helps learners build confidence with the new language.

PS. Found grammar mistakes or typos? Please let me know. Thank you11

Na toca ou no buraco no tronco da árvore? As casas do bosque

Na toca, no buraco do tronco da árvore… Onde deve ser mais confortável? As casas do bosque tem lá seus mistérios. Corujas, pica-paus, esquilos, rapozas e coelhos. Cada um mora onde lhe é mais prático, não é?

Casas do Bosque livro infantilVamos ler e brincar?

O livro Casas do bosque já foi indicado aqui como presente de natal. Este ano após desencaixotarmos as mudanças ele foi novamente escolhido por ela, nossa pequena, para uma releitura. Desde bebê que ela escuta a leitura desse livro. Para cada fase um tipo de escuta. Quando bebê era do toque e reações à voz. Depois entre 1 e 2 anos começou a fase de revirar as páginas e puxar as guias interativas. Ela acabou de completar 3 anos e outra oportunidade de leitura surgiu: a leitura interativa e ativa. De ler, contar, aprender explicitamente e brincar.

Sugestão de atividade

Leitura: livre e com ênfase na diferença entre toca e buraco no tronco e na questão de onde mora o animal.

Contação: livro fechado. A contação começa com ‘era uma vez…’ Era uma vez uma raposa que morava na…(a criança procura a raposa no livro e completa ‘toca’). Essa raposa tinha um amigo pica-pau que morava no (a criança procura a página e responde ‘buraco no tronco’). E finalmente a amiga coruja que nunca dormia a noite olhava todos dormindo de dentro de sua casa no (criança responde com ajuda ou não ‘tronco’)

Aprendizagem: Qual a diferença entre buraco no tronco e a toca? A criança aprende que a toca é no subsolo na terra e o buraco no tronco é na árvore viva e receptiva aos animais. A criança aprende também o som /T/ de tronco e toca. A criança aprende os diferentes nomes de animais do bosque e suas moradias.

Brincadeira: Tronco (buraco no tronco) x Toca – grita-se o nome de um animal e a criança (e todo mundo que estiver com ela) procura um abrigo ou em baixo dos móveis (toca) ou no alto dos móveis como cadeiras e sofás (tronco). Depois que já tiverem cansados dessa brincadeira pode variar para outra. Grita-se Toca ou Tronco e cada um fala o nome de um animal e corre para suas ‘moradas’ no alto ou no chão. Se tiver um quintal ou um jardim para brincar, melhor ainda. Dentro de casa dá para pegar os bichinhos de pelúcia e escolher quem mora na toca e quem mora no tronco e sair espalhando na casa em baixo ou em cima dos móveis. Olha que loucura pra gente arrumar depois haha. Além disso dá pra fazer desenho e arte com o tema. Boa sorte! 😉

Bom, é pra brincar, né gente? Então aqui em casa a brincadeira durou até eu dizer ‘chega! Não aguento mais’ haha.

É essa a dica de hoje.

Um grande abraço