Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two Ideas for Listening

Still with the BBC:

1. The latest "Words In The News" is about new animal species being discovered in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. Until the 1990s scientists were unable to explore the area because it was a war zone. Now they have found some remarkable creatures.

2. "Six Minute English": in this episode hear about the case of the 20-year-old man in Italy who has taken his parents to court so that he can live with them while he studies. And it seems he is by no means unusual. Listen on...

And note that you can download this as a Podcast, enabling you to listen repeatedly. The BBC page will give you full instructions on how to do this if you are not yet familiar with Podcasting.

And just one other thing.....

............ visit the BBC's special area dedicated to cyberspace: Click. Here you'll be able to watch the programme of the same name, as well as read advice on how to keep yourself, and your computer data, safe when you're online.

More to come - keep watching this space!

Kind regards from,
- Mike

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Puppy Smuggling - The Answers

OK folks: here are the answers you have been waiting for!

1. The trade is worth € 300 million annually - that's $US 360 million.
2. About seventy thousand over the last five years. So that's about fourteen thousand a year.
3. Twenty-five per cent of puppies die during the journey, and fifty per cent within a few months of arrival.
4. They die because (a) they are taken from their mothers too early and (b) because they travel without having been vaccinated.
5. Those breeds: Shitzus, West Highland Terriers, Pugs and Beagles.
6. Those countries: Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republic.

Some listeners didn't understand "Pugs": these are small dogs with flattened, bulldog or boxer faces, like pedigree Persian cats. You saw one at the very end of the video.

Watch the video again.

Honourable mentions to:-

Cristian, Roberto, Gianni Palma and Agostino

for getting the answers totally or partially right.

Thank you all very much for your participation. It is heartening to see such an enthusiastic response.

Coming soon: another listening idea for you. Watch this space.

- Mike

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Gomorra: the latest

Go straight to the BBC's 'Newsnight' programme on TV for the latest analysis of 'Gomorra'. There are scenes of Naples, Casal di Principe and Scampia, as well as interviews with Roberto Saviano and official crime fighters. Some of these speak excellent English. The programme lasts about fourteen minutes.

You can also see a panel of experts reviewing the movie, which has been put forward as an Oscar candidate. The speech is fast and occasionally confusing, so you may need to see it a couple of times. It's just under eight minutes long.

And keep coming back for more newsnight programmes.

Please don't forget to leave a comment after seeing either, or both, of these TV clips.
- Mike

Venice Floods

Dear All,

Here's a piece in the BBC's Learning English site, all about the recent floods in Venice. Read the text and listen at the same time. And check out the glossary, which will teach you new words and expressions.

I'm very happy that quite a lot of you are now leaving messages on the Tag Board. And Sara, from level 4, has even left a message at the bottom of the recent message about the terrorists in Mumbai. She says, "Interesting topic, I spent almost a hour in reading and watching reports."

Since 25 November comments have been left by:

Luigi, Iacopo, Ambra, Cecilia and Sara.

Well done! But where is everyone else??

More later this week.