Thursday, March 25, 2010

Turning of the Year

Hello everyone! It's now been officially Spring since 21 March. Rome has definitely warmed up. Bad luck for skiers, of course: on the nearby slopes of Campo Felice or Ovindoli it's downhill all the way in more senses than one. The quality of the snow will now be deteriorating.

Here on the Blog, I would like to congratulate Pasquale Alabastro on his splendid photo of the Colosseum. Pasquale is studying photography in Rome as well as English, and there are more of his pictures in the pipeline.

Before I go on holiday, I plan another listening comprehension exercise from the BBC's Six Minute English. Meanwhile, I would like to thank Leonardo and Gian Piero, of Level Four, for recording themselves reading "Words In The News". I have given them some individual feedback. I would generally say that the problems mainly arise from wrongly-placed stress, whether within a word or within a sentence. Wrongly-placed stress can render your speech incomprehensible. So I encourage you to try it for yourself.

Simply surf over to Words In The News. Choose a piece of news - I recommend the interesting piece on the Latvian marijuana haul. Listen to the official reader first. Pay close attention to the stressed words and other pronunciation features. You could even print out the text, listen and underline the stressed words and syllables. Or you could copy the text to "Word" and use the highlighter tool. Then record yourself and save the resulting file. After converting the file to MP3 format, send it to me. Do not worry if you get a message saying that the British Council has blocked your message. I can take care of it from this end. I will listen to your recording, and contact you with corrections and suggestions.

For something slightly different, navigate over to the British Council's English Online site. This piece on Extra-Sensory Perception will be particularly interesting to students in our Level 4A, since we have been looking at Psychics, Astrologers and Palmists. Listen to the reader and read the text at the same time.

Your question for this topic: what are the four distinct types of ESP?

That's it for the moment. Keep watching this space.
 - Mike

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