Monday, July 06, 2015

Holidays in Greece!

Dear all,

My apologies for this scandalously late post - the first since late April. 

There has been a lot going on this year but I am starting regular posts on  "Rome English" once again.

Greece is very much in the news. Are you going there this summer? More than a million Brits have booked holidays there, and Greece has always been a very popular destination for Italians.

So now, navigate over to the Business Pages of the BBC and read, and listen to, advice for holidaymakers in Greece this summer.

Then make a list of dos and don'ts, according to what you have read and heard. Post them in a comment or on the Tag Board.

I look forward to your ideas!


More soon,
Yours,
Mike

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Natural Disasters

Hello everybody. I am looking at the BBC for another listening quiz to bring to you. But for now, here is some useful vocabulary.

A volcano in Chile, an earthquake in Nepal. Terrible events which we struggle to understand. But on the BBC Learning English site, they make it easier by listing the words you need and explaining them.

Check out Lesson 30: Tales of Survival - and tell us what new expressions you learned by posting them in a Comment or on the Tag Board.

More very soon!
Yours,
Mike

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Small Talk: The Answers

Hello everyone. My sincerest apologies for this long gap between posts.

My excuse must be that quite a long Easter holiday intervened. It saw me travelling from Rome down to southeastern Sicily and back. It was great!

But now I'm back in the flow and so I bring you the answers to March's Six Minute English Quiz on "Small Talk". Here they go:

Question 1 (Official): When do babies usually start talking? Is it when they are:

(a) 9 months; (b) 16 months: (c) 18 months  - Eighteen months

2. What expression does party expert Liz Brewer use to describe the act of attempting to start a conversation with someone you don't know at a party? "Breaking the ice"

3. What do you do if you can't remember the name of the person you're talking to? You say,  "Your name has just slipped my mind."

4. Liz Brewer says, "You have to interact with people in a charming way." 


In the next few days I'll be brining you another Quiz. Meanwhile, make sure you keep your listening skills honed. Honed? This means "sharp", like a knife. You can do this by visiting this Blog every day and doing some listening practice.

See you again soon!
Yours,
Mike

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

New 6-minute English: Small Talk

Good day everyone. Here's a new Six Minute English Quiz. It's short and sweet. It's about how to survive at a party where you know no one. 

No problem! Here are a few questions:

Question 1 (Official): When do babies usually start talking? Is it when they are:

(a) 9 months; (b) 16 months: (c) 18 months 

2. What expression does party expert Liz Brewer use to describe the act of attempting to start a conversation with someone you don't know at a party? "....."

3. What do you do if you can't remember the name of the person you're talking to? " ... "

4. Liz Brewer says, "You have to interact with people in a [___] way." (one word)

Now listen to the programme. When you have finished, post your answers on the Tag Board or in a Comment.

I'll be back soon!
Yours,
Mike.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Grammar Point: Indirect questions

Good day everybody. Later today I'll post a fresh Six Minute English Quiz. But now I'd like to "flag up", that is, draw your attention to something that regularly "crops up", in other words occurs, in our English lessons. I'm talking about Indirect Questions.

We use these in various situations, notably when reporting what someone said. They are also very commonly used when we want to make a polite or delicate request, for example when asking for permission or information.

Here's an example that happened to me on the early morning flight from Istanbul to Izmir, Turkey. I had boarded the plane and taken my allocated seat. The seat next to me was empty. A British tourist asked me curtly, "Is this free?" She sounded quite aggressive. She should have said, "Could you tell me whether this seat is free?"

I should have stared up at her coldly and replied, "Yes!" Instead of this, I said mildly, "Yes, I think it is." I guess I am too nice.

To find out more about Indirect Questions, go to this page on the BBC World Service Learning English site. Pay particular attention to the word order. Which is correct:

1. "Could you tell me what time is is?"
2. "Could you tell me what time is it?"

Study the BBC page and then post your answer on the Tag Board or in a comment.

Good luck, and more soon!
Yours,
Michael

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Last year's Six Minute English Quiz: The Answers At Last!

Hello to all our readers. First of all I must apologise for this post being, on 12 February, my first since 20 December! My excuse must be that the beginning of 2015 has been exceptionally busy. I am very sorry about this and I plan, from now on, to add at least one post a fortnight, and hopefully more often than that.

Now, I must give you the answers to the quiz about Superheroes. Here they are:

1. What year did Superman first appear published in a comic? It was (c) in 1938

2. And he was originally a villain - that is, the bad guy.

3. Superheroes in real life are people who do something [good].

4. What does the Japanese superhero do? He makes his fellow-citizens [happy].

5. Why does he do it? He says that, after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, that he wanted ["to bring the smile back (to people's faces)".]

6. Interestingly, real life superheroes keep their identity [a closely guarded/secret].

7. Another Japanese man is considered a hero because he [volunteers to keep Tokyo's streets cleaner].

An honourable mention naturally goes to Filomena, Manola and Federica for taking part in our Quiz. Many thanks!

And in a few days' time I'll post another Quiz.

Finally, a very happy New Year 2015 - even if it is a little late.
Yours,
Michael Ivy

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Six Minute English: What makes a Superhero?

You might be surprised. In this episode of Six Minute English we're going to dissect the superhero and sort out fact from fiction.

Here are some questions to help you concentrate on the programme. Read them first, then click on the link to the programme, below:

1. What year did Superman first appear published in a comic? Was it:
(a) in 1930; (b) in 1934; or (c) in 1938?

And, question 2:
What was Superman's original role? He was a [___]. (one word)

3. Superheroes in real life are people who do something [___]. (one word)

4. What does the Japanese superhero do? He makes his fellow-citizens [___]. (one word)

5. Why does he do it? He says that, after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, that he wanted ["to ......"] (a short answer)

6. Interestingly, real life superheroes keep their identity [___ ___]. (two words)

7. Another Japanese man is considered a hero because he [.....]. (a short answer)

Now listen to the programme. The link should open a new tab. Then write your answers on the Tag Board or in a Comment.

I look forward to seeing as many people on board here as possible!

And I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2015!
I am off to the UK and France very soon. But with luck, I may be able to visit this blog from time to time.

Season's Greetings!
Yours,
Mike