Thursday, September 27, 2018

Of Bugs and Beetles


Here's something a bit different to help you with your essential listening practice.The BBC World Service's "Lingohack" regrets the passing of an iconic automobile. Here are some questions for you to think about as you listen:


1. What is the car called?
2. Which film made this car 'iconic'?
3. When did the original design stop being produced?
4. What do you think is the difference between "goodbye" and "farewell"?
5. And what new words did you learn?

Navigate to 
"Lingohack" on the BBC to find out!


More soon,
Yours,
Michael


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hello, Welcome, and Answers to the latest Quiz!

Hello everyone.
Welcome back to "Rome English" after the summer vacation.
For the moment, I just have time to give you the answers to the latest Six Minute English Quiz, which came out on July 20. It was about Smartphones, without which many of us could no longer live efficiently.

Here they are:
1. When did the term ‘smartphone’ first appear in print? Was it in:
a) 1995; b) 2000; c) 2005


it was 1995.

2. How long does Catherine spend on her smartphone - in a day?!

Nineteen hours - a day!!

3. How many teenagers in the US feel addicted to their smartphones, according to a study?


Half of all teenagers.

4. What other things can people be addicted to?


Drugs and alcohol, as well as mobile phones. I used to be addicted to chocolate.

5. What adverb does Jean Twenge, psychologist and author, use to describe the way in which many people use their smartphones?


Compulsively.

6. And what does she mean when she uses the expression "keep in touch"?


Contacting people, communicating with them usually in person.

I'll be posting another quiz soon. Please do come and join us, and leave your answers in a comment, which is very easy to do.

More very soon indeed!
Yours,
Michael Ivy (Editor)

Friday, July 20, 2018

Summertime ... and it's Six Minute English

Hello. And many thanks to Cristina who answered the previous quiz.

Very soon, many of us will be off on our big summer chill. But here's a quiz to get you listening to English.

As usual it's from the BBC World Service's "Learning English", and it's about Smartphones. Listen to Rob and Catherine talking. You'll learn some strange new words this time!

Here's the official question:

1. When did the term ‘smartphone’ first appear in print? Was it in:
a) 1995; b) 2000; c) 2005


You'll hear the answer at the end of the programme.

Read these further questions before listening to the programme, then answer them in a Comment:

2. How long does Catherine spend on her smartphone - in a day?!

3. How many teenagers in the US feel addicted to their smartphones, according to a study?

4. What other things can people be addicted to?

5. What adverb does Jean Twenge, psychologist and author, use to describe the way in which many people use their smartphones?

6. And what does she mean when she uses the expression "keep in touch"?

So, having read the questions, now go over to Six Minute English. But listen first before looking at the transcript.

And, in a Comment: (1) answer the quiz questions, and (2) in a few words, describe your personal relationship with your smartphone. I'll repeat your ideas in the next post.

Also, follow Rob's advice and watch Six Minute English on YouTube.

That's our latest quiz. I look forward to seeing your answers to the questions.

And have a very nice summer chill!
I'll be back soon.
Kind regards,
Michael Ivy.

Friday, July 06, 2018

New Listening Quiz

Hello readers.

I'm back again after a short absence. So today I would like to share some new online features with you.

They are both on the BBC's "Learning English" site. The first one is a new "English In A Minute" presentation.

In "English In A Minute" you get a mini-lesson on a topic which puzzles many students. This week it's the difference between "go back" and "come back".

I suggest you try Activity 1. How useful was it? Was it clear? Tell us in a Comment.

Next is Six Minute Vocabulary with Rob and Sophie.

Official question: What's special about the Burj Khalifa building?

What's the difference between "high" and "tall"?

And between "large" and "big"?

When do we use "large" instead of "big"?

What is it vital to consider when choosing which word to use?

Quiz questions: is the English right or wrong in these sentences:

1.) My brother is 180cm high.

2.) I looked down from the high window to the garden below.

3.) Moving house is a large decision to make.

What tip do Rob and Sophie suggest in order to learn vocabulary?

Please do post your answers in a comment - just click on the "Comment" link below this message.

OK that's it for today. Remember that in all these activities you can see the transcript of any speech - but try not to use it until you have finished the activity.

And you can also download transcripts and podcasts.

More soon! Have a nice weekend.
All the best,
Yours,
Michael

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer of Love

Sorry about that. I made a mistake in the title. It should read, "Summer of Language".

Some of us are now embarking on new courses. No doubt this is with a view to preparing for travel.

As always, one of the biggest difficulties is listening.

In my next message I'll discuss this in more detail. However, here are some links to help you:

1, "Six Minute English" on the BBC's "Learning English" site. .Where better to start than "Learning to speak a language" ?

2. "Learn English Teens" - the Video and Listening zones. There's a lot of useful material here.

Try to visit these sites every day if you can.

More info and a quiz very soon in my next post.

Have a nice day,
Yours,
Mike

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Micro-adventures: The Answers

First of all, I apologise for the extra-long time that has elapsed since the last post: well over a month. My excuse must ne that it has been a very busy period.

Second of all - but no less important - I want to thank warmly all those students who posted their answers to the last Six Minute English Quiz on Microadventures. You have been fantastic. Here are your names:
Sara Sena - Nisha - Alessandro Zara - Cristina Luca - Enrico De Santis - Cristina Meschini - Anonymous.
I would love to know who 'Anonymous' is so that I can thank him or her personally for the contribution.

Here then are the answers to the quiz:

Question 1 (Official):

How far it is around the world measured at the equator – in other worlds the circumference? It is approximately…

(b) 40,000 km

Question 2: What is a 'microadventure''? A short adventure close to home. Or any answer that conveys this idea.

3. Where did Alistair Humphrey go for his microadventure? He walked round the M25 motorway or London's orbital road. See the famous Italian documentary, "Sacra GRA", by Gianfranco Rosi.

4. Another idea for a microadventure is camping.

5. Why does Alistair Humphreys recommend being out at night? Because it feels different, with just a small hint, or suggestion, of fear.

6. Why does he get a little nervous when he is out at night? Because he imagines the presence of ghosts.

Never mind if your answers weren't totally correct. An approximate answer, showing that you had a basic understanding of the listening exercise, is also good.

So keep calm, carry on listening, and watch out for the next quiz, coming soon!

All the very best,
Yours,
Michael, Editor, "Rome English"

Thursday, March 22, 2018

New Six Minute English Quiz: Microadventures!

Hello readers!

You'll see that this is the first post I have written since the end of January. It's rather scandalous. My excuse is that I have been very busy focussing on other things. However I now plan to post something every fortnight, which means every two weeks.

And here is our first Six Minute English Quiz for some time. As always, it is on the BBC's Learning English website.

Before you listen, read the questions. Then click on the link provided. 

Try not to read the transcript. When you are sure of the answers, go to the Comments section at the end of this post, and write your answers in a Comment. Then look at the transcript.

Those questions:

Six Minute English: Finding Adventure in Ordinary Places

Listen to Rob and Neil talking about adventure close to home.

Question 1 (Official):

How far it is around the world measured at the equator – in other worlds the circumference? It is approximately…

(a) 30,000 km (b) 40,000 km, or (c) 50,000 km?

You'll hear the answer at the end of the programme.

Question 2: What is a 'microadventure''?

3. Where did Alistair Humphrey go for his microadventure? 

4. Another idea for a microadventure is _______ ing.

5. Why does Alistair Humphreys recommend being out at night?

6. Why does he get a little nervous when he is out at night?

Now listen to the program.

After listening, study the transcript to see if you answered the questions correctly.

Also, look at the new expression that Rob and Neil discuss.

There are some more facilities. For instance you can download the programme as a podcast. You can also download a PDF file of the audio transcript.

And at the bottom of the page you will find links to further Six Minute English episodes. Some of these may in future appear on this Blog.

Happy Listening!
Kind regards,
Michael Ivy (editor, the Rome English Blog.)