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

Thursday, October 26, 2017

It is. Could you be?

Hello, everyone. To my shame, this is the first post I have written since before the summer holidays. Let me remedy this right now.

We're well into our new academic year. I would like to resume regular posts about how you can practise your listening skills.

I often post listening quizzes based on the BBC. But for now I'll give you a few pointers to useful websites. Then in my next post I'll give you something specific.

Here are some ideas. Your first resource is the British Council's 'Learn English' site. I particularly recommend 'Learn English Teens' even if you are not a teenager. Go to the Video Zone, YouTubers and Graded Listening.

Next resource is the BBC 'Learning English' site. Click on Features, then choose between "English at Work", "News Report", "The English We Speak", "LingoHack", "Six Minute English" and "Words In The News".

"The English We Speak" and "LingoHack" are particularly good for colloquial English and slang.

I must leave you now, but with a question. Look at the headline of this post, "It is. Could you be?"

Think of a noun to replace "It" and an adjective to insert after "is". Or, a verb in the present continuous. Post your suggestion in a Comment. The best completed sentence will get an Honourable Mention in the next post, and an apero after 21:00 in a local watering hole.

Pip pip!

See you soon!
Yours,
Michael

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sleep Deprivation - The Answers

Dear Readers,

Here are the answers to the Sleep Deprivation Quiz:

To take the sleep deprivation test, you need a watch, a metal spoon and a metal tray . Check the time and then shut your eyes. When you fall asleep the spoon should hit the tray and wake you up.
If you fall asleep after fifteen minutes, you're OK. But after ten minutes, you're sleep deprived.  If it's five minutes or less, then you may have severe sleep deprivation."
Michael Mosley took just over ten minutes to fall asleep. So he is not getting enough sleep.
He tried the test on some office workers. Three out of ten nodded off in around _____ minutes. That's not surprising when you consider that forty per cent of the population of Britain say they get less than six hours of sleep a night."
That's alarming news for many of us. It's certainly true in my case. In my job, I finish at 9 p.m. Assuming I don't go out - to the theatre, a movie or dinner - I get home to the Rome Borough of Centocelle around 10 p.m.I relax with a drink and a bit of television or a magazine, and then cook dinner. I might perhaps finish dinner around 11.00 or even 11.30.

Then I turn on my computer and edit photos, or maybe even this Blog. At some point I will look at the clock and find that it's already 1 a.m.! And there are days when I get up before seven in the morning. It really is appalling.

Tomorrow the summer holidays start and I'm going up to the UK. I'm resolving to go to bed before midnight every night if I can. Way to go!

Now it's your turn. Write to us and tell us about your sleep habits. Us the comments facility as we no longer have the more interactive Tag Board, and I have not yet found a replacement.

I'll have another message from you very soon. Meanwhile...

... have a nice day!
Yours,
The Editor.