Hello everyone. There's a famous proverb which says, "Necessity is the mother of invention." This week’s Six Minute English is about how this proverb works in the Philippines. Many Filipinos live and work in Italy. Back home, many people are very poor. But some of them use a simple device, based on an equally simple scientific principle, to light their homes without spending any money. We are about to discover what this ingenious device is. Read the questions first and then listen to the programme.
1. This week's official question:
How many islands make up the Philippines? Is it:
Listen out for the answer at the end of the programme!
2. ‘Slums’ are areas of a city where the houses are of very bad quality. How many people live in slums in the Philippines?
3. What is one of the biggest problems of living in a Manila slum?
4. Electricity in the Philippines is __________ __________ __________ in Asia.
5. What does the invention consist of?
6. In terms of electrical power in Watts, how much light is produced by each plastic bottle?
Now listen to the programme. Except for question 4, the answers will consist of a long sentence, or even more than one sentence. So I suggest writing them in a Comment. To write a Comment, click on the 'Comments' link at the end of this post.
For further listening practice, explore the British Council's Learn English site. There is a large store of materials here, and more materials are being added all the time. One of the best resources consists of the Elementary Podcasts. In each podcast you'll hear a conversation between two or three people. They talk about such things as money problems, football hooliganism and even about people's favourite times of day.
You can download each podcast to your i-Pod or MP3 player for repeated listening practice. You can also download the transcript of a conversation and a Support Pack. The Support Pack consists of paper versions of the exercises that you can do on your computer.
Why not try Series 3 Episode 4? You'll hear people talking about getting a job to solve money problems, and about the weather in different countries. Listen and do the exercises. Then tell us about your experience on the Tag Board or in a Comment. Did you find the Podcast useful, or not, and why?
If you want to participate on the Learn English site, you have to register. I encourage you to do this. You will then be able to leave comments, make suggestions and ask questions about English, such as about any grammar and vocabulary you are not sure that you have understood.
Registration involves inventing a user name and password for yourself, giving your e-mail address and then a very few elements of personal information, none of which is made public. This is a safe site.
More very soon! I urge you all, wherever you are, to listen to Six Minute English and send in your answers. I also urge you explore 'Learn English' and share your experiences of it on the Tag Board.
Next week: how to use Michael Marzio's 'Real English' for listening practice.