Thursday, May 27, 2010

Robin Hood: The Answers. Plus the BC's Learn English and how it can help you.

Hello everyone! First as promised, the answers to the latest Six Minute English listening comprehension exercise, which was about Robin Hood.
1. The first film of the Robin Hood story was released in 1908.
2. He was a great archer and a good swordsman.
3. Robin Hood lived in Sherwood Forest with his band of "Merry Men". Be careful of the spelling!
4. There have been over a hundred (100) different film and TV versions of the Robin Hood story.
5. He was always dressed in green and he wore tights. Note: it is worth revising all the vocabulary connected with clothes and fashion.
6. Russell Crowe, playing Robin Hood, wanted "to give the guy some dignity."
7. Russell Crowe sees Robin Hood as a "fighter".
8. Russell Crowe mentions gorse bushes and brambles as the forest flora most likely to damage your clothes. Look these botanical expressions up in your dictionary. What are they in Italian?

Very many thanks to Silvia, Annagiulia, Allegra, Chiara, Sergio, Gianluca, Giovanni, Savina, another Chiara, Lorenza and Leonardo. That's eleven people in all, and is very encouraging. But there are still over ninety people out there who are not responding...

Now, to turn to another topic: the newly redesigned British Council site LearnEnglish. This site gives you instant access to grammar and vocabulary practice, listening and video comprehension, and business English, among many other things. I encourage you to click on the link above and explore around. Take time to do so: twenty minutes should be enough to give you a good introduction.

But right now I am going to give you some specific links to topics we have recently been covering in class. First of all, let me address Level Four:

Passive Forms: a further explanation of the difference between active and passive forms of verbs. Unfortunately there is no game or test attached to this topic yet.

Young Learners Senior E: try this explanation of phrasal verbs. Here is a game you can play to practise phrasal verbs associated with "write". Although we haven't specifically studied this in class, try it anyway.

Level Two: try Passives - click on the link above. Here, too, is some extra practice on "used to"  contrasted with "be/get used to". See pages 80 and 138 in our book.

As always, when you have visited these sites and tried the exercises, give us your feedback by leaving a short message on the Tag Board or by posting a comment. You will find the Learn English site particularly useful for revision before our end-of-course test.

More listening comprehension soon!
- Mike

Friday, May 21, 2010

Six Minute English: Robin Hood

Hello everybody.
As promised, here is another listening comprehension exercise from Six Minute English. This time it's about the movie "Robin Hood", which is in Rome's cinemas and has also been shown at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

As usual, read through the questions below and then listen to the programme:

1. (This week's official question) When was the first film of the Robin Hood story released?
(a) 1908; (b) 1918; (c) 1928

2. Robin Hood's martial abilities included being a great __________ and a good _________ . [one word in each gap.]

3. Robin Hood lived in Sherwood Forest with his band of "________ ________ ." [two words].

4. There have been over ________ different film and TV versions of the Robin Hood story.

5. He was always dressed in _________ and he wore ________ .

6. Russell Crowe, when he played Robin Hood, "wanted to give the _______ some ________ ."

7. Russell Crowe sees Robin Hood as a "_________".

8. In his interview, what typical forest flora does Russell Crowe mention as being likely to damage his clothes?

Now listen to the programme and then write your answers on the Tag Board or in a Comment.

Very many thanks to all those who answered last week's Six Minute English quiz. How many are going to answer this week? I'd love to get as many people as possible participating.
More soon,
 - Mike

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Sign Of The Times" on Six Minute English: The Answers

Hello everyone. Here are the answers to last week's Six Minute English listening comprehension exercise.

1. Hollywood was originally called "Hollywoodland"

2. Mr Hefner compares the Hollywood sign with the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

3. British equivalents to the iconic landmark include London's Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

4. Mr Hefner says that the best of America comes not from the government but "from the movies".

5. And this "best of America" represents the "immigrant dream".

Many thanks to Diletta, Savina, Bruno, Gianluca, Olimpia, Lorenzo and Leonardo for taking part.

Coming up very soon:
(a) an introduction to the new British Council Learning English site, and
(b) our next Six Minute English listening comprehension.

I apologise for the fact that this is the first posting for ten days, but it has been a busy period.

See you again soon,
 - Mike

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Sign Of The Times" on Six Minute English

Good day everyone. I wish you all a happy start to the week.
Here's a fresh listening comprehension from Six Minute English. It's about the famous sign on a mountainside looking over one of the best known localities in America. Read the questions first and then listen to the programme.


1. The Hollywood sign was constructed in 1923 but at that time it didn't say 'Hollywood'. What did it say?
a) Hollywoodville; b) Hollywoodtown; c) Hollywoodland


2. Hugh Hefner, founder of the Playboy empire, compares the Hollywood sign with another famous landmark. Which one?
 
3. What London landmarks might have similar 'iconic' status? Three are mentioned.
 
4. Hugh Hefner says that the best of America comes not from government but from the ______ . (one word)
 
5. Mr. Hefner further says that this 'best of America' represents the ______ ______ . (two words)

Now listen to the programme. Then write your answers on the Tag Board or in a Comment.

Last week twelve people took part, and this was fantastic. Can we double the number this week?

Coming soon: the new British Council 'LearnEnglish' site; and how to use the Concordancer to research English vocabulary.

Watch this space!
 - Mike

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Cycling In Copenhagen: The Answers

Dear All,

Here are the answers to last week's Six Minute English exercise:

1) Official question: 1.2 million kilometres are cycled every day in the Danish capital.
2) Callum's two favourite pastimes are cycling and eating.
3) The hotel is making its offer to encourage guests to think about their consumption of energy.
4) Ten watts of energy will light up two light bulbs.
5) Another source of energy in Denmark comes from wind farms.
6) Wind farms produce a fifth of Denmark's energy. 

Many thanks to all those who sent in answers. This time they include: Giovanni, Damiano, Corrado, Max, Olimpia, Bruno, Simona, Paolo, Leonardo, Lorenza, Simone and Chiara.

A long list this time! This is very encouraging. The more people, the merrier!

Another message very soon.
- Mike