B.E.L.L. Tips – Windsurfing

B.E.L.L. Tips – Windsurfing

Issue #75

English Tips for:

Business English Language Learners (B.E.L.L.)


Each week, I will send out some handy tips and useful exercises for adults learning to navigate and use the English language. Please feel free to share this newsletter with friends and colleagues.

This unique sport is a combination of surfing and sailing. It emerged from the surf culture of California in the 1960s, but it is enjoyed by water sports enthusiasts around the world. It became an Olympic sport in 1984, so you can catch it at this summer’s Olympics in Paris. It is also called kiteboarding or sailboarding.

Reading Tip

Language Level – B1

Want to learn more about windsurfing while practicing English?

Read this article about windsurfing and take note of any unfamiliar vocabulary,


Writing/Listening/Speaking Tip

Language Level – B1

Watch this short video about the 2022 U.S. Windsurfing Nationals.

Five people briefly talk about their experiences. Watch the video with the cc OFF. Choose one or more of the people and transcribe (write down) what you hear them say. This helps you practice listening to real people, in real-time, at different paces, with different accents and clarity.

Take it a step further and practice reading your transcription out loud for speaking practice. Check your pronunciation with the video.

It’s challenging to get speaking and listening practice when you don’t live somewhere where you can practice in context. This tip is an alternative way to practice these skills on your own.

video preview

Grammar Tip

Language Level A2

Past Progressive Verb Tense

Past Progressive is used for actions in the past and focuses on the course or duration of the action.

  • Action taking place at a certain moment in the past

Being in the middle of doing something at a certain time in the past.


At two o’clock, Carla was preparing the contract.

Yesterday, I was looking for Mister Miller’s phone number.

  • Actions happening simultaneously

Actions in the past happening at the same time (over a longer period of time).


While Claire was preparing her presentation, Tom was showing the customer around.

While Sarah was looking for the documents, I was keeping the customer on the line.

  • Being in the middle of an action, when another action begins

Action taking place over a longer period of time in the past when (suddenly) another (shorter) action begins.


I was sitting in a meeting when my phone suddenly rang.

When I came in, John was playing solitaire.

Clue words: When you see these words in a sentence, they are clues that it is likely a past progressive verb tense (but it’s not a rule): when, while, as long as

NOTE: The progressive (sometimes called continuous) tense always uses a “helper verb” (was or were because it is in the past) and “ing” because it is an action that was in progression (or process).

Let’s practice!

Complete the sentences in Past Progressive.

  1. Yesterday at six, John (drive)______ to the airport.
  2. While Claire (have)______ lunch in the cantine, Mary and Will (talk)_____ to a customer.
  3. I (prepare)_________ the invoice, when my computer suddenly crashed.
  4. When we (sit) _______ in the meeting, Joseph suddenly got the hiccups.
  5. I (gossip / not)______ with Amy when you came in – we (discuss)________ a serious problem.
  6. Bob and I (walk)_______ to the office when it suddenly started to rain.
  7. During the week of the conference, I (stay)_______ at a nice B&B.
  8. Where (you / stay)_______ during your time in Miami?

Vocabulary Tip

Language Level – B2

A few vocabulary words from the Oxford 3000. A list of 3000 words someone should know if they are taking the CEFR (Common European Framework Reference) language tests.

  1. abandon v.
  2. absolute adj.
  3. academic n.
  4. acceptable adj.
  5. accompany v.
  6. account v.
  7. accurate adj.
  8. accuse v.
  9. acknowledge v.
  10. acquire v.

Here is the quizlet, where you will find the definitions to the words above.

Weekly Challenge

Language Level – C1

Now that we’ve examined the subjunctive mood for a few weeks, I’m going to challenge you this week with this subjunctive mini-quiz:

Some of the examples below require the subjunctive form. Choose the correct answer.

Note that not all of the correct answers will be in the subjunctive.

  1. I have some free time this afternoon. __________
  • Do you want that I help you with your report?
  • Do you want me to help you with your report?
  • Do you want I help you with your report?

2. During the meeting, _______________

  • I proposed that we restructure the department.
  • I proposed them to restructure the department.
  • I proposed that we restructured the department.

3. I asked Paula for help but ____________

  • she refused to help me.
  • she refused that she help me.
  • she refused helping me.

4. I think _______________

  • It’s good you be taking on more responsibility.
  • It’s good that you be taking on more responsibility.
  • It’s good that you’re taking on more responsibility.

5. Please don’t be late for the meeting. _______________

  • It’s important that we will make a good impression.
  • It’s important we make a good impression.
  • It’s important making a good impression.

6. Someone in my department _____________

  • demanded she was paid more.
  • demanded she be paid more.
  • demanded that they paid her more.

7. At my monthly meeting with my supervisor, she ___________

  • suggested that I got an additional certification.
  • suggested me to get an additional certification.
  • suggested that I get an additional certification.


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