Thursday, June 23, 2011

Six Minute English: 'Posh People'

Good day everyone. A few days ago I promised you another Six Minute English Quiz. I asked you to have a quick preview of the episode and gave you a link to follow. Now I can ask you a few questions. Read them now, and then listen:

1. (Official): Which member of the pop group The Spice Girls was nicknamed Posh Spice? Was it:

a) Emma Bunton; b) Geri Halliwell; c) Victoria Adams ?

2. In the English class system, people are classified according to a number of ________ and _________ factors. (One word in each space)

3. ‘Posh people’ are supposed to belong to the _______ class. (One word)

4. ‘Posh’ describes something that is ________, _________ and __________. (Three adjectives)

5. What is the origin of the word ‘posh’? Can you write a short sentence explaining this idea? You may need to use the Comments facility.

6. The playwright Julian Fellowes says that ‘posh people’ need to be protected from _________ (One word)

7. A ‘posh’ accent in English is also known as ‘The _____’s English’. (one word, possessive)

8. What does the writer James Delingpole think ‘posh people’ need? (A short sentence.)

9. The writer Owen Jones thinks that the debate about ‘posh people’ is really about stopping discussion about the fact that politics and the media are ……. (a short sentence to complete your answer.

Now listen to the episode. I suggest answering the questions using the Comment facility below this post, especially for questions 5, 8 and 9.
Coming soon: further ideas for practising Listening. And remember: we now have a Facebook page for the British Council in Italy. You're always most welcome to come and visit us. More on the Facebook page very soon.
Have a good weekend!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Social Media Scams: The Answers

Hello everyone. I am sorry that over two weeks have passed since my last message. My excuse must be that here at the British Council Rome we have been holding end-of-course tests which have taken up a lot of time to correct. But that's now over, so at last I can give you the answers to the last Six Minute English quiz that I posted at the very end of May. Here they are:

1. This week's official question: Who was the first celebrity to have more than 10 million people following his or her updates on Twitter?
b) Lady Gaga

2. Social media offer people an easy and entertaining way of staying in contact with those they know and trust. (one word in each space.)

3. Alice uses social media especially with friends who live abroad.

4. BBC Technology Correspondent Mark Gregory mentions that social networking sites are an obvious target for scams involving impersonation.

5. From how many computers has Microsoft taken its information? Six hundred million.

6. What exactly are “phishing” frauds? What do they encourage you to do? Provide important personal information such as your user name or password.

7. How can you protect yourself from a scam? Be careful about what information you provide online; be vigilant about suspicious emails.
Many thanks to Giovanni and Mauro for their answers. Gabriella tried to leave her answers in a comment but for some reason it did not work. However, it is usually easy to leave a comment. You need to choose an 'identity' option - I suggest the 'Name/URL' and just leave your name. Then you need to copy the coloured letters you will see on the screen into a special window. This is an anti-spam measure. It ensures that only actual human beings can leave messages, thus excluding computer robots.

Give me a few days to compose another Six Minute English Quiz. We're looking at early next week. Meanwhile, do continue exploring this Blog and the Internet for more opportunities to practise your English. It's vital to maintain your contact with English over the summer period when you're on holiday, as it is very easy to forget everything you learnt.

So keep returning to the British Council's 'Learn English' site, and to the BBC's 'Learning English'. Why not try listening to 'Posh People' on the latest Six Minute English? What does 'Posh People' mean? Post your answers on the Tag Board.

More early next week!