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.)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Updates and Six Minute English Quiz Answers

Dear readers,

Once again I apologise for these sporadic posts. The previous one was well before Christmas.

Just to remind you, we had a question: "It is. Could you be?" and I invited you to rewrite the sentences with a suitable noun phrase to replace "It", and to add an ajective after "is". Sadly, no one answered.

So I made this suggestion: "Learning English is cool. Could you be?"

You could. Just contact us and we will help you.

But now it's time for the answers to the Six Minute English Quiz on the BBC's "Learning English". Here they are:

1) Official question: What is the youngest age at which children are allowed to work in the UK?  Is it: a) 12 b) 13  c) 14? You will hear the answer at the end of the programme. 
The right answer is (b) 13.
Exceptions are if you are in TV, films, theatre or modelling.

2) What job did Dan do when he was 14? He had a paper round.

3) A "Saturday job" is a term used to refer to part-time work done by teenagers

4) Shop work is a very typical Saturday job.

5) The number of work permits issued to young people has fallen from 30 000 in 2012 to just 23 000 in 2016.

6) Teenagers are facing pressure not to take part time jobs and instead to concentrate on their studies

7) Dan's job taught him the value of hard work.


There were some useful expressions: "bemoan", "hinder" and "detrimental", for example. Here's an idea: post a Comment here, with three personal sentences each containing one of those words.

Finally, also in a Comment, write and tell us about any part time jobs you have done, or that you did when you were a student. We would love to read about them.

That's it for now - but I'll write again very soon.

Have a nice day.
Yours,
Mike

Friday, December 15, 2017

Learning English is cool. Could you be?

Good day everyone. I'm mortified at not having posted anything since 26 October. At this time, I can't think of any excuse, except that I've Been Busy.

I invited readers to complete the expression, "It is. Could you be?" My own suggestion is in the title of this post. But I'd love to see your ideas.

Meanwhile, let's have a listen. Listening is the most difficult aspect to learning a language. I can attest to this as I have joined a Spanish course at CEF level A1.2. I have just listened to the news on Spanish radio and I probably understood forty per cent of it.

Let's try "6 Minute English" on the BBC World service "Learning English". This week's topic is "Should schoolchildren have jobs?"

Here's a short list of questions:

1) Official question: What is the youngest age at which children are allowed to work in the UK?  Is it: a) 12 b) 13  c) 14? You will hear the answer at the end of the programme. 

Here are some more questions:

2) What job did Dan do when he was 14?

3) A "Saturday job" is a term used to refer to ____ ____ work done by ___ .[Each blank space represents one word.]

4) ____ ____ is a very typical Saturday job.

5) The number of work permits issued to young people has fallen from ____ in 2012 to just ____ in 2016.

6) Teenagers are facing pressure not to ....... and instead to ...... [Complete the spaces with expressions that make sense, according to what you have heard.]

7) Dan's job taught him the ____ of ____ ____ . [Each blank space represents one word.]

Now listen to the programme and answer the questions. I'd love you to post your answers on this page.

To post your answers, click on the "Comments" link below and to the right of this post. If there have been no comments yet, the link will say "No Comments". Otherwise it will say, "1 [or whatever number] comments."

After clicking, write your comment in the space provided. To send your comment to us, you must "Choose an identity". The simplest is the "Name/URL" option. But if you choose "Anonymous", then please write your name at the end of your comment.

After that, simply click "Publish your comment".

On Six Minute English, there are some extra facilities to help you. You can see the list of special words on screen, and you can also see a transcript of the conversation between Neil and Dan.

You can also download the conversation as a podcast. This is a very good idea, as it enables you to listen to the conversation repeatedly.

That's all for now. I look forward to your comments. Remember that this is a Blog, and the best Blogs are interactive.

Have a very good day.
Yours,
Mike (Editor)


x