Friday, July 23, 2010

Hello everyone!

I'm writing this on a hot Friday evening in Rome - 32 degrees in the house, when I should be relaxing down the coast.

But I promised to give you the answers to Six Minute English, and here they are:

1) According to a recent survey in Britain, when does middle age begin? Is it at:

(a) 35; (b) 40; (c) 45 ?
The answer is (a)! (Rather surprising.)


2) It happens to people who are in their forties and fifties. Essentially it is a worrying fear of getting old. People react by looking for ways to recapture their youth.

3) In a quarter-life crisis people...

... are aged in their twenties.
... worry about who they are and where they are going or what they are doing.


4) Quarter-life crises are mainly caused by (mention three causes):



(a) student debt(b) unaffordable property
(c) a very competitive job market


5) Is the quarter-life crisis the same as the mid-life crisis but twenty years earlier? Give reasons for your answer. No, it isn't the same: while middle-aged people worry about getting old, young people worry about the job market and finding somewhere to live.



6) Callum says he is nearly a hundred years old.
That's all for now everyone! Very many thanks to Savina, Paolo and Giovanni for your contributions to the Discussion Board.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, find a few minutes each week to visit this Blog and explore some of the web sites that are shown here. I'd say that just twenty minutes every so often will help maintain your contact with English.

Try some of the listening web sites and, at the very least, keep up with the summer's news stories through English media such as the BBC, CNN and the newspapers online.

And as always, share your thoughts with us in a Comment or on the Tag Board.

Have a very good summer vacation! I'll be back on the first of September.

Good luck!
Mike

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Quarter-Life Crisis

Good afternoon everyone. The latest from Six Minute English is about the "quarter-life crisis". We're going to find out what it is by listening and aswering a few simple questions. When you've finished, post your answers to the questions on the Tag Board or in a comment. Then say whether you have every experienced either a quarter-life or a mid-life crisis and tell us how you dealt with it.

First, the questions:
1) According to a recent survey in Britain, when does middle age begin? Is it at:
(a) 35; (b) 40; (c) 45 ?

2) What exactly is a "mid-life" crisis?
It happens to people who are in their _____ and ______ . Essentially it is a ________ of _________ ___________ . People react by looking for ways to ________ ________ _______ .[one word for each line like this:________ .]

4. In a quarter-life crisis people...
... are aged in their _______________ .
... worry about ____ ____ ____ and _______ they are _______ .

5. Quarter-life crises are mainly caused by (mention three causes):
(a)
(b)
(c)

6) Is the quarter-life crisis the same as the mid-life crisis but twenty years earlier? Give reasons for your answer.

7) Callum says he is nearly ______ years old.

Now, listen to the programme. Don't forget to use the Tag Board or a Comment to share your answers with everyone.

More very soon!
 - Mike

Monday, July 05, 2010

Monsters of the Highlands: The Answers

Good day everyone!
As promised some time ago, here are the answers to the Scottish Highland Monsters questions:
1) A Highlander wears his sporran round his waist - answer (b).
2) The Highlands are popular with people who like camping and hill walking.
3) Midges have mouthparts like a pair of shearing scissors. They cut a hole in your skin and suck your blood.
4) A lot of midges together look like a black cloud.
5) The sporran is useful for keeping your money and your whisky.
I can confirm the monstrous nature of Midges. When I went on a cycling tour of the Western Highlands some years ago with two friends from Naples, they were a terrible nuisance. Not only would they bite, they would also get into your eyes and nose. I really wonder what their role in the ecology is. They are less of a problem in the Eastern Highlands but a hazard nonetheless. They are also to be found in the North Pennines and the Lake District, both of which regions are in England. They are not known to spread disease.

Many thanks to Paolo, Savina and Giovanni for your messages! Keep up the good work of visiting this site and making it interactive.

More messages and another exercise later this week.

Yours,
 - Mike