Monday, April 21, 2008

Latest Update Today (Monday 21 April)

Listening - for levels 4 and 5

I've been encouraging people to listen and some of you, notably Anna and Silvia, have been doing just that. Well done, but keep at it - in other words, continue. Here I repeat what I have been saying in our lessons:

BBC News: The first link for you is One Minute World News, which is at the top of the page. This is a video summary of the latest news. Try to make short notes by writing down the key words. Can you say what the main news items were?

Below the main stories on the BBC News page is a section called "Video and Audio News". A click on the link opens a wide choice of listening activities. Most of them are video. I recommend you try these first.

Now look at the right-hand side of the page, entitled "From Programmes". These are mostly audio. I recommend "Analysis". This is organised into nine-minute blocks of news analysis. Choose one that interests you. As you listen, write down the key words that you hear. Try to understand the basic message. When you have finished, write a short report on the Tag Board.

Next place to go is the BBC Learning English site. We've all seen "Words In The News" and I encourage you to watch it at least twice a week. By listening and following the transcript, you will learn to visualise what you hear as text. In addition, there is a useful glossary of the expressions in bold.

But do not neglect other features of the page. I recommend, at least once a week, listening to "Six Minute English". You'll find it under "Watch and listen". This week's item is about Managers. Who are they, what do they do, why do they do it, and is it worth it? And what does the word "manage" mean?

To listen, you have two options. Either click on the upper link labelled "Audio", to listen immediately.

Or you can click the "Podcast" link. A new window opens. Go down the page and look for "Latest Episode", then a link called "Download Episode". Right-click your mouse on this link. Choose the option "Save target as"/"Salva oggetto con nome", and save it somewhere on your computer. Then you can transfer the listening file (which is in MP3 audio format) to your i-Pod or mp3 player, and listen anywhere you like. You can also build a collection of these listenings.

I've just done this - and it took me 20 seconds to download this 3Mb file, through a broadband (ADSL) connection.

Please do write your comments on the TagBoard or in the Comments section below this post. It is very important to leave a comment, so as to encourage others in the class, exchange ideas, and form a community of learners.

More very soon! I'll be changing the Tag Board to one which hopefully will attract less Spam. I will let you know when I have done so.

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