Saturday, November 17, 2018

Fantastic opportunities for listening

Hello. I am always telling students how important it is to listen to English when you are outside the classroom.

We do a listening exercise from the course book most lessons. But learning to listen is a slow process.It is vital to practise as much as you can in your free time. The rule is, as with financial accounts, "a little, but often".

Listening can include listening to the radio, to your favourite songs or watching a move or TV series. Let's take the radio as an example.

Many students are discouraged by the idea of listening to the radio, they say. They are afraid they won't understand every word. I say, don't worry about understanding every word.

Instead, try to get the general idea of the speech. You will get better at this with time, especially if you follow the rule of "a little, but often".

Try BBC Radio Four, which is approximately equivalent to Italian RAI GR 1. Here is a special website, "Radio Four In Four". The page you will see shows links to 'clips', or short extracts, from longer programmes.

Browse around. You could be interested in "Why Faith Seems Alive and Well in Social Media", or maybe you fancy "I Face Discrimination in the US as a Lawyer Because I'm a Woman". These are moderately long - 9 minutes 48 and 13' 30'' respectively.

So how about something shorter? "Why You Should Stop Buying Large Eggs" is just over three minutes. Let's listen to this clip now. Below are a few simple questions about it. Note carefully! Unlike "Learning English", there are no subtitles or transcripts to help you.

  1. What does the British Association of Free Range Egg Producers recommend customers to buy?
  2. Leicester egg farmer Bill Crawley says large eggs weigh between ___ and ___ grams, while a medium egg is ___ to ___ grams.
  3. What is one disadvantage of buying a larger egg?
  4. How do supermarkets encourage producers to produce large eggs?
Don't worry about understanding every single word. Just get the general message..Then send in your answers in a Comment.

Happy listening - and keep exploring "Radio Four in Four"!
Yours,
Michael (Editor)

Friday, November 16, 2018

Of Bugs and Beetles: The answers

Hello readers. My deep apologies for taking over a month and a half to post these answers. My usual excuse is that there has been very little time.
But better late than never, so here are the answers:

1. What is the car called? 'Bug' in the US, 'Beetle' in the UK, 'Coccinelle' in France, 'Peta' in Bolivia and 'Kodok' in Indonesia.

2. Which film made this car 'iconic'? 'The Love Bug', a Walt Disney film.

3. When did the original design stop being produced? Fifteen years ago.

4. What do you think is the difference between "goodbye" and "farewell"? This presentation suggests that 'farewell' implies that you will see the person, or phenomenon, again. 'Goodbye' suggests a permanent separation.
 However, it is not as simple as this. 'Goodbye' is much more common in everyday English. If, after a date, you said 'Farewell' to someone, they would think you were joking.

5. And what new words did you learn? You tell us - just send your answers in a Comment.

And keep returning to the BBC's "Learning English" site. There is lots more material here to help you with your English. I'll return to this site in the near future with some more indicators for you.

More soon and have a nice day,
Michael Ivy (Editor)

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