Friday, November 27, 2009

Laughter Yoga on Six Minute English

Hello everyone.
If you are a Level 3 or Intermediate student, and you're using 'New English File Intermediate', you may recall unit 5A, in which you hear an expert giving advice on How To Slow Your Life Down.

One of his 'tips' is: "Forget the gym. Do yoga instead." It so happens that a recent edition of Six Minute English is devoted to "Laughter Yoga", and I would like to share it with you.

Read the questions before you listen. To start with, here's the official question as set out on the site:

1. In which Indian city did Laughter Yoga originate? Was it
(a) Delhi
(b) Darjeeling
(c) Mumbai

Some more questions: fill the spaces with one or two words. Each _____ indicates one word.

2. Indian expert Dr. Madan Kataria's exercises combine ________ (one word) with _______  __________ . (two words)

3. "Endorphins" are a chemical released in the _______, and which make us feel ________ and _______ .

4. BBC reporter Rob Crossen went to India to try out 'laughter yoga'. What, for him, were the health benefits?

5. How, according to Rob Crossen, do you 'laugh for not reason at all'?

6. Did Rob Crossen enjoy 'laughter yoga'? Why? or why not? as the case may be.

When you have listened to the programme, write your answers to the questions in the Comments at the end of this message. For questions 4, 5 and 6, just write short answers.

Please note that whoever you are, wherever you are from, you are always welcome to use this blog, try out the sites and exercises and post comments. You can be a student of English anywhere, or even just an interested visitor. You are always welcome to participate.

All for now! Back again next week.

 - Mike

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The meanings of "get"

Hello everyone.
In my last post I asked you to deduce the various meanings of "get" from a list of occurrences generated by the Concordancer at the Hong Kong Polytechnic. The only person to reply so far has been Claudio, who has given a list of phrasal verbs with "get".

So here is a short list of sample sentences from the Comcordancer, with the meaning of "get" below each sentence:

  1. plot about a Bronx mother-of-three who gets a job to bail out her philandering hu get = "obtain"
  2. re is a link between star signs and who gets along with whom. Even those dubious a get along = "have a good relationship"
  3. at 1,000m in the eastern Alps probably gets as much snow as a resort at 1, 500m ( gets = "becomes"
  4. union. This is where the debate gets interesting. When the Bank governor w gets = "becomes"
That's all I have time for right now! Can you do the rest?s classes are all downstairs, but as he gets older his year group will also be tau
  1.  
  2. used after she saw a couple with a baby getting into a car. She told The Sun: "I s
  3. ther about providing he goes to bed and gets up at reasonable hours. 3. A s
  4. " "I wouldn't like to think that I was getting you down." "No, don't worry about i
  5. e Rolling Stones, and they shouldn't be getting married in the first place — modern
  6. well. IDEAL FOR A BREAK If your idea of getting away from it all is relaxation, the best o
  7. tends to press ahead with its policy of getting rid of 15,000 staff a year over the next t
  8. e tonight." "Umm, well, I think we were getting a taxi." "Please; let me. Please. Fiona. Y
Write your answers in a comment or on the Tag Board, quoting the question number. Thank you!
 - Mike

 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How Words Work: Using a Concordancer

Hello all. In recent lessons we have explored some difficult questions on the meanings and uses of words. What, I am asked, does "get" mean?

The answer, of course, is that it means many things. And it's impossible to give a definitive answer in the course of one, or more, lessons.

This is where you can do some research. And the Net can greatly assist you - through a 'concordancer' program.

A concordancer is a simple search tool. You type in a word on which you want more information. The Concordancer will rapidly search through a large body of text - called a 'corpus'. When done, the program will display all occurrences of your key word down the centre of your computer screen. The sentence in which it has been found will be shown to left and right of the word. Then you examine each occurence to see how the word is used.

Here is an example. I search on the word 'get' and display some of the results below. How many meanings of 'get' can you find?
  1. plot about a Bronx mother-of-three who gets a job to bail out her philandering hu
  2. re is a link between star signs and who gets along with whom. Even those dubious a
  3. at 1,000m in the eastern Alps probably gets as much snow as a resort at 1, 500m (
  4. union. This is where the debate gets interesting. When the Bank governor w
  5. s classes are all downstairs, but as he gets older his year group will also be tau
  6. used after she saw a couple with a baby getting into a car. She told The Sun: "I s
  7. ther about providing he goes to bed and gets up at reasonable hours. 3. A s
  8. " "I wouldn't like to think that I was getting you down." "No, don't worry about i
  9. e Rolling Stones, and they shouldn't be getting married in the first place — modern
  10. well. IDEAL FOR A BREAK If your idea of getting away from it all is relaxation, the best o
  11. tends to press ahead with its policy of getting rid of 15,000 staff a year over the next t
  12. e tonight." "Umm, well, I think we were getting a taxi." "Please; let me. Please. Fiona. Y
Here are two quick links to concordancers:


Please do leave your answers on the Tag Board or in the Comments section after this post. Include the line number and the meaning of 'get' in the line concerned.
I look forward to your answers.
Coming up: more on Listening.
All the best!
 - Mike