Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Your Ideal Date

Hello everyone.
Later this week I will post a new Six Minute English Quiz. For now however, I would like to invite you to debate this question:

What's your ideal date?

It's an appropriate question for the day after St. Valentine's Day.

In this context, a "date" is an appointment, often in the evening, for a movie or a restaurant dinner, with someone you are romantically attracted or attached to.

For a wide variety of opinions on this theme, click on the BBC's Express English site.

Then post your ideas on the Tag Board. Or if your answer is rather long, post it in a Comment.

You can also post your ideas on the BBC's site, but you will have to register first.

That's all for right now. I look forward to reading your ideas on what you think is an ideal date!

More later this week.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Six Minute English: The Answers

Good afternoon everyone. Do you remember that Six Minute English quiz of a fornight ago, about musical ability? Here, at last, are the answers.

1. (Official question) Listen to two short pieces of music. Are they (a) exactly the same, or (b) different?

Exactly the same!
2. Complete the sentence according to what you hear: A musical person is not only someone who can play music or who has had formal training, but also someone who can appreciate and understand the rhythm of a piece of music or a song.
3. According to music scientist Dr. Lauren Stewart, someone has a sophisticated understanding of music if they know how to choose the right music for a social occasion, or if they know how music affects their moods and emotions.
4. According to another music expert, people don't listen to classical music because they are afraid they won't understand it.

Many thanks to those who responded, espeically Massimo. Some people found the quiz difficult. They said it was not easy to formulate answers to the questions, because there was no structure to the questions. In other words, you had to listen to the programme and then answer the questions in your own words.

So for the next quiz I'll try giving true/false or mutliple choise questions. Ultimately, however, we should be working towards a more 'open' type of question. Watch this space.

I apologise for the delay in providing these answers. It has been a week of tests and exams. From next week I plan to post more often to this Blog.

Kind regards and more soon,

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

More Grammar Revision

Hello everyone. It's that time of year again. In other words, we're preparing for our mid- or end-of-course tests.

And here are some more sites which can help you with various grammar points. Last week I mentioned Reported Speech. This week I'd like to start by focussing on the uses of the present simple and continuous forms of the verb.

For the present simple and continuous, look at the basic information in the British Council's Learn English site. Try the exercise just below the explanation.

Here's some more information on how to choose between the present simple or continuous. This is also on the British Council's Learn English site.

For much more on the use of the Present Continuous, see here on the BBC's Learning English site. Here you'll listen to Bilal from Syria asking and talking about this grammar problem. You can listen to him being tested: he is asked to form correct sentences. You can download a complete explanation of this aspect of grammar. And you can do two practice quizzes - here's the link to Practice Quiz 1.

The next grammar problem is "will" and "going to". A student from Thailand asks the BBC about the difference. Listen to the programme and do the exercises.

And here's a link to a long list of questions on grammar on the BBC's Learning English site.

Please do post your reactions to these sites, or any other comments, to the Tag Board. Or leave a comment in this post. Whichever method you choose, we want to hear from you. It takes only a few minutes (five or seven) to share your experiences.

Coming soon: the answers to the Six Minute English quiz on Musical Ability.

More soon!