Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Six Minutes, Six Questions...

... on Six Minute English.

As it's summer, we're going to listen to the BBC's Learning English site on getting a sun tan and why it is so popular, especially in the UK.

Read the questions first:

1. Official question from the site: Which designer made it fashionable to have tanned skin?
a) Yves St. Laurent
b) Coco Chanel
c) Gianni Versace

2. Why is tanning so popular in the UK?
3. Why can we sometimes see very deeply-tanned people in mid-winter?
4. What were people's attutudes to tanning a hundred years ago in the UK?
5. How does Ilda De Vico get her sun tan?
6. How does she feel about being brown?

Now listen to Six Minute English and try to answer the questions. Post your (short) answers on the Tag Board or in the Comments section below this post.

And that's all for now. If I have an opportunity I will post something during the holidays, but I am now off until 1 September.

So have a very good summer holiday wherever you are.

However, don't forget to maintain your contact with English. It could be through this blog, or reading and DVDs, or through people you meet. All methods work.

And even if you are no longer doing a course with us, you are always welcome to use this Blog.

See you in September.

Ciao4now - Mike

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Like and "As" ' The Answers!

Dear All,

Here are the answers to the "like" / "as" quiz of a few days ago:

  1. And, like Sir Geoffrey and Mr Heseltine, he routinely sets up federalism as a straw man to knock down.
  2. Astonishingly, they both work full time, Jenny as a district nurse, Michael a doctor.
  3. Cambridge boss Ian Atkins described his team's performance against Portsmouth on Saturday as " disgraceful".
  4. Does it look like a begonia?
  5. Guthrie was not prepared to accept what seemed like being the total demise of Sadler's Wells Opera.
  6. He said that they behaved like "wild dogs" when they broke up a peaceful demonstration by schoolchildren.
  7. I cried like a baby every time I tried to close my eyes.
  8. I don't know anything about Gary as a footballer but he's got nice legs.
  9. January is traditionally thought of as a bleak month.
  10. Publishers rarely, if ever, charge for personal things like Christmas cards.
  11. Senna struggled for a long time with what he later described as an undriveable car.
  12. The news comes as a shot in the arm for players and supporters.
  13. Are the standards of Germany are to be imposed on countries like Britain?
  14. Watching it as a professional I had to be concerned about poor defending. [a football report]
  15. What will it look like after the honeymoon?

Coming up: a final Six Questions for Six Minute English, the last before I go away on holiday later this week. Watch this space!

Yours,

- Mike

Friday, July 10, 2009

6-Minute English: The Answers

Hello everyone!

As promised, here are the answers to the Six Minute on House Swapping:

1. The right answer is the USA. Fifteen per cent of house swappers chose the U.S., twelve per cent the U.K., and eleven chose Australia.

2 (a) "free" and (b) "become somebody else." or "inhabit/live someone else's life"

3. (a) "accommodation" and (b) "vehicle" or "car".

4. The two types of accommodation mentioned were "houseboat" and "apartment".

5. You "don't have to live out of a suitcase".

6. "local" and "tourist".

Congratulations to José Maria and Gianfranco. Sorry Giorgia: you got question 1 wrong, but you did very well on the other questions. So let's organise an evening out soon and I'll buy a round of drinks for those who got the right answers.

While we're on the subject of listening, I am just looking at the Learning English page on the BBC. And there's a good section on Listening and Pronunciation. See it here. For current Level 6A students, I recommend doing Unit 6, "Eating Out", as it is very close to what we have been doing in our book. Concentrate on word stress as you listen What kinds of words are stressed? Try the Speak 1 exercise in order to practise.

For everyone else, try all the listenings and exercises.

Finally, let's try something quite different. We have been discussing the difference between 'like' and 'as'. When do you use which? Here is a short exercise that I have taken from the Concordancer:
  1. And, _____ Sir Geoffrey and Mr Heseltine, he routinely sets up federalism as a straw man to knock down.
  2. Astonishingly, they both work full time, Jenny _____ a district nurse, Michael a doctor.
  3. Cambridge boss Ian Atkins described his team's performance against Portsmouth on Saturday _____ " disgraceful".
  4. Does it look _____ a begonia?
  5. Guthrie was not prepared to accept what seemed _____ being the total demise of Sadler's Wells Opera.
  6. He said that they behaved _____ "wild dogs" when they broke up a peaceful demonstration by schoolchildren.
  7. I cried _____ a baby every time I tried to close my eyes.
  8. I don't know anything about Gary _____ a footballer but he's got nice legs.
  9. January is traditionally thought of _____ a bleak month.
  10. Publishers rarely, if ever, charge for personal things _____ Christmas cards.
  11. Senna struggled for a long time with what he later described _____ an undriveable car.
  12. The news comes _____ a shot in the arm for players and supporters.
  13. Are the standards of Germany are to be imposed on countries _____ Britain?
  14. Watching it _____ a professional I had to be concerned about poor defending. [a football report]
  15. What will it look _____ after the honeymoon?

"As" or "Like" ?

I look forward to your answers!

More soon - Mike