Thursday, December 20, 2012

Is it the end of the world?

We will have found out by the end of 21 December. But try to take a little time - six minutes - to learn more about the idea that the world is due to end on this day. Listen to Alice and Kaz on Six Minute English.

First, read the questions. Then listen to the programme. When you have finished, post your answers on the Tag Board or in a Comment. Were you right? 

1) - official: Alice asks Kaz what 21 December is called in English?
(a) the winter equinox (b) the winter solstice (c) midwinter

2) For the Mayans, December 21 2012 marks the end of a _________ - year cycle. 

3) Professor Pedro Yac from Guatemala hopes that people will use 21 December to think about ...... 

4) He says: "We should stop planting _____ ".

5) According to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, nearly _____ per cent of the people believe that the end of the world is 'nigh'. (= imminent)

6) What common English adjective rhymes (sounds like) 'nigh'?

7) Richard Henson says that we are witnessing the end of an era that began _______ years before Christ. 

Now listen to the programme. Then post your answers. Let's have as many readers as possible giving their answers to these fundamental questions about our existence.

And tell us where you will be on the day the world ends! More soonest,
Mike

6 Minute English: The Island That Never Was: The Answers

Hello everyone! Many thanks to those of you who posted your answers. And here they are:

1. (Official question): What's the name of the legendary island which is said to have sunk into the sea? 
b) Atlantis

2. Neil has a bad sense of direction.

3. What serious problem can happen with maps? They can be completely wrong.

4. The depth of the sea at the point where Maria Seaton's map showed an island was 1400 metres.

5. The BBC reporter suggests that the indication of a non-existent island on the map was due to "human error" (Two words)

6. Google Earth's spokesman says that one of the problems with maps is that "things change". (Two words).

7. Was Neil's answer to question (1) right? Yes!


I used Alessandro's answers (see Comments). But many thanks to those who took part. Watch out for the next Quiz - imminent!

More again very soon!
Mike


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Six Minute English: The Island that Got Lost.


Hello everyone and welcome to this week's Six Minute English Quiz. I am sorry not to have posted anything for almost three weeks. I haven't got a real excuse except that this has been quite a busy time.

In this episode, Alice and Neil discuss the mystery of the Pacific island that disappeared.

Read the questions first, then listen.

1. (Official question): 
What's the name of the legendary island which is said to have sunk into the sea? Is it:
a) Pacifica b) Atlantis c) Oceana ?

You will hear the answer at the end of the programme.

2. Neil has a good/bad sense of direction. Which adjective is right?

3. What serious problem can happen with maps?

4. The depth of the sea at the point where Maria Seaton's map showed an island was ________ metres.

5. The BBC reporter suggests that the indication of a non-existent island on the map was due to "_____ _____" (Two words)

6. Google Earth's spokesman says that one of the problems with maps is that "_______ _______". (Two words).

7. Was Neil's answer to question (1) right?

Now listen to the programme. Then post your answers on the Tag Board or in a Comment. Let's have as many readers as possible writing in with their answers!

More very soon and many thanks for reading this - and doing the Quiz.

Yours,
Mike

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Unreality and speculation

Sounds like a dream. Or a money-making scheme.. But no. Today we're talking about this week's grammar. It principally concerns my Level Four students but speculating on an unreal situation is an important function in any language and at most levels.

A good example is a personal question currently on the British Council Rome's Facebook page: "If I had absolute power for one day, I would..." - and you complete the sentence.

For further help on this topic, look no further than the British Council's Learn English site. On the main page, click "Grammar and Vocabulary", then "English Grammar". From the list on the right choose "Verbs in time clauses and if clauses". Look at the explanations and then try the games at the bottom of the page.

When you have finished, leave a message on the Tag Board saying what you think of the site. Did it help you?

I'll put up a further Listening Quiz later this week.

More soon!
Mike

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Instant Language: The Answers


Hello everyone! Very many thanks to those readers who participated in the latest Six Minute English Quiz. You got it mostly right. Here are the official answers:

1. How many languages are there in the world? There are about 6,000!

2. The device developed in Japan could save language learners hours and hours of study.

3. The Google voice translator works by sending your speech to Google's server, translating it in real time and then sending the translation back to you as a text file. If you pay extra you get a voice file.

4. What's the difference between the Google translator and the Japanese technology? The Japanese system provides the voice translation in real time. You speak to someone in England on your phone in Japanese and after a short pause, your speech reaches England, translated into English.

5. (The Big Question) How accurate is the translation? Is it exact? The Japanese translator says it is "understandable, but not perfect."

6. Does Jen think these new technologies will put an end to language learning? She says these types of technology are always helpful, but nothing will ever replace learning the language,

7. Jen thinks that learning a foreign language is one of life's great pleasures.


Many thanks to Manuela, Tommaso, Livia and class 4W18WF for your participation. But let's get more people joining in! Another quiz is coming up later next week. In my next message, however, I'll discuss using the Net to work on grammar and vocabulary.


See you soon! Yours,
Mike

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Instant Language

Hello and welcome to this weekend's new Quiz. Today it is about something very close to our hearts: communicating in a foreign language by using your Smartphone, but without having to learn the language first. Is this possible?

Well, a Japanese mobile phone operator has developed some technology which brings this idea a step closer. Listen to Neil and Jen discussing this question. Read the questions first before you listen. Here is the official question:

1. How many languages are there in the world? Is it:
a) about 100; b) about 1,000: c) about 6,000 

Listen out for the answer at the end of the programme.

2. A device has been developed in Japan which could save language learners ____ ____ ____ of study. [3 words]

3. How does the Google voice translator work according to Richard Taylor? It .......... [complete the sentence with the information you hear.]

4. What's the difference between the Google translator and the Japanese technology? The Japanese system ......... [complete the sentence with the information you hear.]

5. (The Big Question) How accurate is the translation? Is it exact? The Japanese translator says it is ________, but not _______. [two words]

6. Does Jen think these new technologies will put an end to language learning? She says  .......... [complete the sentence with the information you hear.]

7. Jen thinks that speaking a foreign language is one of ______ _______ _______. [three words]

Now listen to the programme. When you have finished use either the Tag Board (see right) or the Comments to give us your answers.

And I hope as many people as possible can take part in this week's Quiz! I will have more for you very soon.

Have a good weekend! Yours,

Mike

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Art or Vandalism? The answers to our latest quiz.

Dear all,
This time we had several participants in our Six Minute English Quiz. I would like to thank Valerio, Valeria, Marco, Agnese, Francesca and Irma for answering the questions to this listening comprehension.

And I think you all did pretty well. Here are the answers:

1. This week's official question: The highest price ever paid for a painting was $250m ('m' = million) for Paul Cezanne's 'The Card Players'. 

2. Jennifer's favourite painting is Guernica which depicts a scene from the Spanish Civil War.

3. The painting defaced by the visitor to the Tate Modern was by the Russian-American artist Mark Rothko.

4. The 'vandal' is happy and glad that he defaced the painting, but sad that most people "can't see what it's all about". In other words, they can't understand his action.

5. The 'Yellowist' movement aims to improve an artistic work by adding a new message to it.


Another Quiz is on its way. Meanwhile, to improve your listening skills, you need to do some practice every day. Look down the list of sites in the right-hand column. Check out 'Top Sites Right Now', and, further down, 'Listening and Video Sites'. Spend ten minutes a day and you'll soon begin to find listening easier.

More very soon! Yours,
Mike

Monday, October 22, 2012

Art or Vandalism?

From the Tate Modern art gallery in London, there comes the startling news that a man wrote on one of the art works exhibited there, and then claimed that he was trying to improve it. Is this possible?

Neil and Jennifer discuss the question on Six Minute English, which comes to you from the BBC's 'Learning English' site.

As always, take your time to read the questions, then listen to the programme. When you have finished, write your answers in a Comment or on the Tag Board.

1. This week's official question:

The highest price ever paid for a painting was for Paul Cezanne's 'The Card Players'. How much did it cost? Was it: a) $120m?  b) $250m? c) $500m? (m = "million".)

2. Jennifer's favourite painting is G______ which depicts a scene from the ______ ______ ______ . (3 words.)

3. Whose painting did the visitor to the Tate Modern deface? M_____ R______ . (A very famous Russian-American artist.)

4. How did the 'vandal' feel about his act of defacing the painting? Write a few words that express his ideas.

5. What is the idea of the 'Yellowist' movement? Write a short answer.


Now listen to the programme. Then write your answers on the Tag Board (max 200 characters per message) or in a Comment (best to choose the "Name/URL" option.)

How many people will do the quiz this week??

Have a nice Monday.
Yours,
Mike

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

6 Minute English on Youth Unemployment: The Answers.

Hello everybody. It's a fine day in Rome and luckily the 'Cleopatra' storm has largely passed us by. "Passed us by" means literally that it passed us without stopping. More figuratively, it means that the storm had little or no effect. "Largely" means "mostly" or "to a great extent."

But I am writing this post to give you the official answers to Six Minute English. First, however, I must warmly thank Livia and Valeria for answering the questions. Valeria says she had a problem with question 3. And the answer to the official question was interesting.

Here they are:

1. The answer was (b): there is no such thing as a "trifle analyst." There are vibration analysts: they are a type of engineer who checks buildings for the possible effects of vibrations. And the "raven master" is the man who looks after the ravens - a species of large, black bird - who live in the Tower of London. There is a superstition that if the ravens die or leave the Tower, the British monarchy will collapse and the entire nation with it. To find out more, read about the ravens in Wikipedia.

2. The International Labour Organisation predicts no improvement in the employment rate before the year 2016 at the earliest.

3. The International Labour Organisation's chief economist thinks that as a result of entrenched unemployment, young people will lose their skills.  

Note the difference between lose and loose. They are quite different. One is a verb; the other is an adjective. I constantly lose my watch and have to search the house to find it. And one pair of trousers I have is rather loose: I have to wear a belt to prevent them falling down in the classroom. 

A note of encouragement to students: if you can demonstrate that you understand the difference, then your English will be better than that of many English people. Go to any news web site that invites readers' comments and you will see what I mean!

4. Many young graduates are being forced to take part-time, unskilled jobs. It's worth looking up all the expressions associated with jobs: part-time, full-time, skilled, unskilled. What are the differences between these?

5. The ILO wants governments to make job creation a priority.

6. The ILO also suggests offering tax breaks to companies who employ young people. A tax break is a situation or period in which a person or business does not have to pay tax. It is also known  as a tax holiday.

 7. Natalie suggest that young people could learn English to help them build their skills.

Many thanks for your participation. I look forward to seeing more people leaving their answers next time. I will be posting a further quiz later this week. 

Meanwhile, have a nice day!
Yours,
Mike

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Six Minute English: Unemployment.

That dread word, 'unemployment'. Dread? This adjective means, "inspiring fear". And unemployment inspires fear in most of us unless by some lucky chance we don't have to work.

In this week's Six Minute English we look at a problem that is serious in many countries: that of youth unemployment. Italy is no stranger to this phenomenon.

Here's a list of questions, starting with the usual official question, to which you will hear the answer at the end of the programme. For the other questions, listen carefully and insert the missing words. Each blank space represents one word.

1. Which one of these unusual jobs is NOT a real one?

a) A vibration consultant.
b) A trifle analyst.
c) A raven master.

2. The International Labour Organisation predicts no improvement in the employment rate before the year ______ at the earliest.

3. The International Labour Organisation's chief economist thinks that as a result of entrenched unemployment, young people will
______ their ______ .

4. Many young graduates are being forced to take
______ , ______ jobs. (2 words)

5. The ILO wants governments to make job creation a
______ .

6. The ILO also suggests offering
______ ______ to companies who employ young people. (2 words)

7. Natalie suggest that young people could
______ ______ to help them build their skills. (2 words)

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

Let's see how many people listen and write in with their answers. I look forward to seeing everyone's answers posted here!

More soon! Yours,
Mike

Friday, September 28, 2012

Romance In Rome - The Answers.


Dear Readers,
It's now the end of the week, and time to post the answers to the latest Six Minute English Quiz. Obviously the answer to the official question, "What is the name of the river which runs through Rome?" is "a) The Tiber"!

Here are the answers to the other questions:
2. What romantic gesture does Rosie regularly make to her boyfriend? She leaves romantic notes around the house.

3. What exactly is one of the most favourite romantic gestures in Rome? Couples leave a small lock attached to a bridge. The word "padlock" is also used: this refers to a small U-shaped portable lock used, for instance to attach a bicyle to something solid.

4. The BBC reporter saw thousands of padlocks on the bridge.

5. The local council remove these with bolt-cutters

6. This tool is also useful for stealing bicycles

7. The local council says that the fabric of the bridge is threatened by rust from the padlocks

8. Rosie's romantic secret is that her boyfriend is Italian.

Many thanks to Ludovico and Pamela who posted their answers to the quiz. But where was everyone else??

Never mind. I promise another listening quiz next week! Meanwhile, keep coming to the Blog, go down the list of sites on the right-hand side of the page, and check out as many sites as you can - especially listening.

Have a very good weekend! [Although rain is promised for Rome on Sunday :-(]Yours,
Mike


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Romance In Rome!

This is the title of the latest episode of Six Minute English from the BBC's Learning English site.

It's about a particular gesture that Romans often make when they are in love. But the Rome City Council does not approve. Let's listen to the episode to find out more.

Here are some questions for you to answer. They will help you to concentrate while listening. The first, official, question is an absolute piece of cake for anyone even remotely familiar with the Eternal City. But I am going to include it anyway.

1. What is the name of the river which runs through Rome? Is it:

a) The Tiber?
b) The Danube?
c) The Rhine?

2. What romantic gesture does Rosie regularly make to her boyfriend?

3. What exactly is one of the most favourite romantic gestures in Rome?

For the following questions, supply the missing words:

4. The BBC reporter saw _______ of _______ on the bridge.

5. The local council remove these with _______ 

6. This tool is also useful for stealing _______ .

7. The local council says that the fabric of the bridge is threatened by _______ from the _______ .

8. Rosie's romantic secret is that her _______  is _______ .

Now listen to the episode and send in your answers, either on the Tag Board or in a comment. Official answers later this week

Good luck! Yours,
Michael
PS Don't forget to visit our new Facebook page!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Happy New Year

It's a new working and academic year here in Rome. I have now been back for a week.

Coming up soonest: new listening exercises on Six Minute English. And welcome to our new British Council Rome Facebook page.

You'll find news, links to useful sites, information on courses, and much more.

I have now unlocked the Tag Board (look right), so our site is now back to interactive mode.

More very soon!

Yours,
Michael.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy holidays!

Hello everyone.

Here in Italy, it's time for the great escape from our habitual haunts and head to new places and discoveries.

And so, like most people, despite the recession, I'll largely be away from this blog. However I plan to return from time to time.


Meanwhile look at the previous post, watch the video and try to answer the questions. Please put your answers in the Comments page, as I will turn the Tag Board off in order to avoid spam messages. I will turn it on again at the beginning of September.


As students of English, you will want to maintain your contact with the language as far as you can. Here are some ideas:


  • Visit our Facebook page. You'll find all sorts of useful things here. How about a Cool Tool from the Guardian newspaper which tells if you you could win an Olympic medal? Check out the highly useful LearnEnglish Olympic Visitor Handbook. Or tell us about the most unforgettable places you have been to in the past year.
  • Keep up your writing practice by contributing to our online magazine, "English, Actually". There are now plenty of topics to choose from. A good one for this summer holidays would be "Journeys". Share your experiences with us!
  • And check out the right-hand column of this Blog for links to dozens of site that will help you with your English. Here are two outstanding ones: the British Council's "LearnEnglish" and the BBC's "Learning English". Not to be confused with one another, both sites bring you a wealth of resources.

I'm back in the first few days of September. I will then post the answers to our latest Quiz on the arrivals of the Olympic athletes in London.

Have a very good summer vacation!
Yours,
Mike.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Olympics Athletes Arrive In London

Hello everyone. Today saw the arrival of several Olympic teams at London's Heathrow Airport. The BBC were there to greet them. Can you understand the video? Read these seven simple questions first, then click on the link.

Complete the sentences or answer the questions:

1. "After ____ ____ of Olympic planning, the world's athletes are finally here." [two words.]
2. Which famous fashion house has supplied the Italian team's luggage?
3. What are the Italians most concerned about?
4. How many passengers passed through Heathrow today?
5. And on a normal day?
6. "It was security with a _____." [one word.]
7. But the American athlete Kerron Clement has a problem - what is it?
8. The volunteer helpers at the Olympics enjoy their work because of the "amazing ____." [one word]

N
ow watch the video. It is two-and-a-half minutes long. Then give short answers to the questions. The Tag Board is best for this, but you can also leave a Comment.

All our readers are warmly encouraged to participate in this quiz. Remember, if you want to improve your listening, you have got to practise - a little but often, very often.

And while you're in the BBC web site, explore their special Olympics section for more updates on this momentous sporting event.

More soon! Have a nice weekend.
Yours,
Mike

Monday, July 16, 2012

Olympics Quiz Questions

Hello everyone! You can tell that the summer holidays are in the air. No one answered any of the questions! :-(

No worries. I am glad to be able to provide some answers. Here they are, based on information you can find in the
London 2012 Olympics site:

[Look under ‘News’1. How many medals are being made for the Olympics? 4700

2. Where will they be stored before the Games? In the historic Tower of London


3. How much are tickets for the Big Dance in Trafalgar Square on 14 July? It’s free!

[
Look under Schedule and Results.]
4. When is the Women's Cycling Road Race? 29 July

5. When is the Men's Laser Sailing Race? 6 August


6. How many Olympic medals has Paralympic sportswoman Paola Fantato won? And in which sport? Eight; Archery.

7. How many bananas will be eaten by the Olympic Torch-bearing team as it tours the UK?
2.7 million during the whole Olympic Games.

C
oming up: an Olympics listening quiz from the radio. I'll also include a short list of useful Olympics websites - in perfect English, of course!

Watch this space! Yours,
Mike

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

London Olympics: Seven Quiz Questions

Hello everyone! As promised, here is a very brief Olympics Quiz, based on the official Olympics website.
By answering these simple questions, you will be taken through the site. Later, you might like to do some further exploration.
Here are the questions:
1. How many medals are being made for the Olympics?
2. Where will they be stored before the Games?
3. How much are tickets for the Big Dance in Trafalgar Square on 14 July?
4. When is the Women's Cycling Road Race?
5. When is the Men's Laser Sailing Race?
6. How many Olympic medals has Paralympic sportswoman Paola Fantato won? And in which sport?
7. How many bananas will be eaten by the Olympic Torch-bearing team as it tours the UK?
And here is the official London 2012 website. I encourage everyone to have a go and answer. Post your answers on the Tag Board or in a Comment. 
You'll need to explore the site systematically for some of the questions. If people appear to be finding any questions difficult, I will provide some help in a few days' time.
More soon!
Yours,
Mike

Friday, June 22, 2012

Strange Laws: The Answers

Good day all! Here are the answers to the latest Six Minute English Quiz about texting and walking:

1. Official question: there are strange but true laws which exist in the UK. Which one of these three is NOT a real law?
c) It's illegal to speak French in front of a dog.√
2. What accident happened to Rosie recently? A man bumped into her while he was texting, and offered no apology at all.
3. About the new law in Fort Lee, New Jersey: people are forbidden to text specifically while crossing a road.
4. The punishment is an eighty-five dollar fine. (Or: an $85 fine, etc.)
5. In Los Angeles recently, a man was texting on his phone when he very nearly walked into which wild animal? A bear.
6. What did a teenage girl in China fall into while she was using her phone? A sinkhole. [Sinkholes are caused by subsidence of the surface of the land. Water, flowing through the earth, causes caverns to form; these eventually collapse, causing 'sinkholes'.
7. And where did a woman in a shopping mall end up? In a water fountain.
Did you enjoy the video of the man unexpectedly meeting a bear in a Los Angeles suburb  while he was texting? Entertaining, I think you will agree.
Coming next: a quiz about the London Olympics. Do visit our sister site: "English, Actually". This is your space to practise writing, and be corrected.
Have a very good, if rather warm, weekend!
More very soon,
Yours,
Mike

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Six Minute English: Strange Laws?

Hello everyone. It's time now for a Six Minute English Quiz. And what better than one about the seemingly strange laws that one hears about from time to time.

A town in New Jersey, USA, has recently passed a law making it illegal to walk and send text messages at the same time. How strange do you think that really is?

Here are a few questions to help you focus your listening. Read them first:

1. Official question: there are strange but true laws which exist in the UK. Which one of these three is NOT a real law?
a) It's illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour.
b) A pregnant woman can go to the toilet anywhere she wants.
c) It's illegal to speak French in front of a dog.
2. What accident happened to Rosie recently?
3. About the new law in Fort Lee, New Jersey: people are forbidden to text specifically while ...... [complete the sentence.]
4. The punishment is ..... [specify the punishment.]
5. In Los Angeles recently, a man was texting on his phone when he very nearly walked into which wild animal?
6. What did a teenage girl in China fall into while she was using her phone?
7. And where did a woman in a shopping mall end up?
Now listen to the programme. Then post your answers to the questions on the Tag Board or in a comment.
And by way of a bonus, here's a link to the video about the man in Los Angeles. Scary!!
I look forward to answers from everybody! Let's all participate.
More very soon indeed. Yours,
Mike

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Those Diamond Jubilee Facts: The Answers

Hello everyone. Here are the answers to the quiz on the Diamond Jubilee:

1-2. The Queen's first official visit to Italy was from 2 to 5 May 1961 as a guest of President Gronchi.
3. Her most recent visit was 16-19 October 2000 Italy, visiting President Ciampi.
4. Her first official visit to the Vatican City was 5 May 1961 Vatican City, and the Pope at the time was John XXIII.
5. Her most recent visit to the Vatican was on 7 October 1980, and the Pope at the time was John Paul II.
6. The Italian President who visited the Queen in 1969 was Giuseppe Saragat.
7. The most recent visit to the UK by an Italian President was 23-26 October 1990, and the visitor was President Francesco Cossiga.
8. In 1951 the then Princess Elizabeth visited Canada with her husband.
Apologies for the typing mistake in the original quiz, which read 'Prince Elizabeth'.
9. When, on Wednesday 6th February 1952, Princess Elizabeth learned that she had become Queen, she was staying at 'Treetops', a game lodge in a remote area of Kenya.
 10. The first British monarch to celebrate a Jubilee was King George III, when he celebrated his Golden Jubilee in October 1809.
11. Five of the well known rock stars who played at the Queen's Jubilee Concert could include Elton John, Robbie Williams, Cliff Richard, Paul McCartney and Grace Jones. But there were many others - Kylie Minogue and Stevie Wonder, to name but two.

Many thanks to Salvatore and Catia who answered the questions on the Tag Board. You have been fantastic. But where was everyone else?

Time for me to close down now, but I'll be back very soon with some pointers on using Internet to answer your grammar questions. And a fresh Six Minute English Quiz is coming up. Watch this space! as they say in the classics.

Yours,
Mike

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee: A Few Facts.

 
Today, Tuesday, is the last day of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The events have been well covered by the world's media. But how much do you know about the Queen's long life and career? There is no shortage of information online. Let's go to the official Diamond Jubilee web site. Scroll down the front page and click on "Fact Files". Read the page carefully. Here are some questions:

1. When was the Queen's first official visit to Italy?
2. Who was her host?
3. And when was her most recent visit to Italy, and who was her host?
4. When was the Queen's first official visit to the Vatican City, and who was the Pope at the time?
5. When was her most recent visit to the Vatican, and who was the Pope?
6. Which Italian President visited the Queen in 1969?
7. When was the most recent visit to the UK by an Italian President?

Back to the home page of the Diamond Jubilee web site. Without any further help from me, can you answer these last three questions:

8. In 1951, which country did Prince Elizabeth, as she then was, visit with her husband?
9. And where was she when, on Wednesday 6th February 1952, she learned that she had become Queen?
10. Who was the first British monarch to celebrate a Jubilee, and when was it?
11. Name five well-known rock stars who performed at the Jubilee Concert. (You'll find the BBC News website helpful for this question.)

That's enough questions! Post your answers on the Tag Board or in a Comment. Who will be the first person to answer all the questions correctly? If that person comes to see me at our office near Piazza di Spagna, we will have a celebratory drink at one of the many excellent local bars.

More very soon!
Yours,
Mike

Friday, May 25, 2012

In Your Dreams: The Answers.

Hello all. Here are the answers to the latest quiz on "Six Minute English"

1. This week's question: what do Margaret Thatcher, Napoleon Bonaparte and Florence Nightingale have in common? The correct answer is:

c) They all usually slept for just four hours a night!

Now, for questions 2 to 14. By the way, question 9 is missing! My mistake, and many thanks to Daniele Zito for pointing it out. The correct answers are underlined and in bold type:

2. Professor Richard Wiseman's app plays specific sounds to you while you're sleeping.

3. You select the sounds and it plays them to you automatically when it detects that you're dreaming by monitoring your movements.

4. Professor Wiseman says most people have about five dreams every night.

5. If your dreams are pleasant then you will be more positive and productive during the day.

6. Most people would choose sounds that prompted relaxing visions, perhaps set in woods filled with birdsong.

7. Other people prefer night-time adventure.

8. It takes Rosie three hours before she feels awake.

10. Chris would like dreams which involve adventure, going up a mountain and discovering somewhere new.

11. Expert John Mcmanus says the app could, if successful, be used to treat depression and stress.

12. The app could also enhance creativity.

13. Paul McCartney of The Beatles wrote the song 'Yesterday' after waking from a dream.

14. Mary Shelley was inspired to write the horror story 'Frankenstein'.

Very many thanks to Daniele, Alberto, Catia and Giorgia for participating in this quiz.

However, there were only four of you out of the many dozens who read this Blog! It would be great to get more readers to participate.

But it may be my fault for composing a 13-question quiz. Future quizzes will have no more than seven questions.

Moving on, as they say in the classics... It's revision time for many people. My next post will be about how to get the best out of the British Council's Learn English site. This is your place to revise grammar, vocabulary and lots more.

More very soon! Kind regards from
Mike