Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Six Questions for Six Minute English.

Hello everyone. This week I have chosen "House Swap" from 6 Minute English.
A house swap is when, on holiday, you exchange your house for someone else's in a foreign country. Supposing you want to go to London for a holiday, and you know a family in London who want to come to Rome. No worries! Instead of spending a fortune in a hotel, you arrange to exchange, or swap, houses. Do you know anyone who has done this?

In 6 Minute English, the speakers discuss this idea, and you will hear from people who have had this experience. Before you listen, look through these questions:

1. Official Question: According to a recent survey, which is the most popular destination for UK home swaps?
a) Australia
b) UK
c) USA

2. The first woman you hear likes home swapping because:
a) it's ________; (one word)
b) it's a great opportunity to _____ ______ _____ ____ . (up to four words)

3. Home swapping is cheap because you don't have to pay for:
a) ________________ (one word)
b) a ________ (one word)

4. The woman speaker mentions a "wide range of options" when you are house-swapping. Which two does she mention on this list?
(a) a houseboat; (b) a cottage; (c) an apartment; (d) a town house: (e) a penthouse.

5. In the family who spoke, the girl liked house swapping because "you don't .........." Complete the sentence according to what you hear.

6. The man said, "... you can feel like a _______ , not like a ________ ."

Now listen to Six Minute English!

Answer the questions by writing in the Comments section below this message. You could write on the Tag Board as well, but space is limited.

I'll buy an 'aperitivo' for the first person who gets all the questions right!

Have you tried the idea I suggested for pronunciation practice, using the BBC's "Words In The News"? Try it now. Read the piece about Michael Jackson's death. Record your voice on a tape or other recording device. Listen to the newsreader, then listen to your recording. What differences did you notice? You can tell us about it in a message on the Tag Board.

More next week! - Mike

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

News Sites

Hello. A small update to the Newspapers section of the Blog.

Links to Indian newspapers in English suddenly stopped working, so I have updated them.

To follow events in Iran, use the BBC or other British media. But don't forget the American media and, for another perspective, an Iranian newspaper, The Tehran Times, in English. There is also the official Iranian news agency IRNA, whose site was not available when I tried it today at 12:20.

Why am I suggesting these sites? Because the Internet can easily transport you into other countries and cultures, using English as the medium. These sites are a great way of practising your reading in English, and bringing you to another world.

Coming soon: more radio and TV sites.
If you have any suggestions of your own, I'd love to hear them. Post them on the Tag Board or in a Comment.

- Mike

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Workaholism

Hello everyone! This is my first posting this month of June 2009. And a quick note: just because courses have finished it does not mean that the Blog has finished. You are welcome as always to use the Blog and participate. I'll be updating it until mid-July at least.

What do you think of the title? Do you know what it means? How do you say it in Italian - or any other language? And if you don't know what it means, you now have a chance to find out.

As you listen to this recent episode of Six Minute English from the BBC Learning English web site, try to answer these questions:

1. How many hours a week do people in the UK normally work? (And how many in your country?)
2. The "work-life balance" means ............. [a short phrase to complete the definition]
The lawyer said...
3. The lawyer worked ........... to ............ hours a day in his office.
4. For him, eating became a ............ .............. . [two words]
5. His symptoms of the effects of workaholism included ............ .
6. Working in the evenings and at weekends became ......... ......... [two words]
7. 'Burnout' means ................ [a short phrase to complete the definition.]
8. People who experience 'burnout' include .................... [write three types of worker]
9. Overwork brings (1) .............. (2) ..................... (3) ..................... .
The psychologist says:
10. Workaholsim definitely does not .............. [a short phrase to complete what he says.]
11. Workaholics become ................. , .................... and ............... [three attributes].
12 People are most productive when they do not ............................ [conclude the sentence appropriately.]

Click here to listen. Write your answers in a comment; the Tag Board may not have enough space.

More soon!

- Mike