Thursday, April 26, 2012

Legalising Soft Drugs: The Answers

Hello everyone. I'm about to give you the official answers to the latest Six Minute English Quiz. First of all, though, I would like to thank those of you who posted your answers to the questions on the Tag Board or in a Comment. By doing so, you strengthened our purpose which is to form an online, interactive community of English language learners.

Special thanks are owed to Manuela, Alberto, Catia, Suzy and Luisa.

Now for those official answers:

1) When was the first international treaty to combat the sale and use of drugs signed? The answer is: c) 1912.

2. (a) To "have a crack at something" means to try to do something.

2. (b) And the expression "crack" can also mean a highly addictive preparation of cocaine.

3. What, according to the programme, is the difference between "hard" and "soft" drugs? 'Hard' drugs are much more harmful and addictive than 'soft' drugs. Addictive means that your body becomes dependent on consumption of the drug and you want to take more and more of the substance.

4. Why has the Australian Foreign Minister decided to legalise 'soft' drugs? Because his brother died of a heroin overdose.

5. What does the Australian Prime Minister, Miss Julia Gillard, think of the Foreign Minister's idea to legalise soft drugs? She says people should get help for their addiction and that the police should carry on trying to stop drug usage.

6. What strategy has been adopted by countries like Switzerland and the Netherlands to combat use of hard drugs? They allow people small amounts of the drug to help them.

7. Why is this a 'risky strategy'? Because drugs like heroin are highly addictive.

I hope this has helped you with your listening practice. Next, we're going to look at the British Council's Learn English Podcasts and what you can do with them.

And if you've got a Smartphone, explore the possibilities of downloading an app to help you learn and practise English anytime, anyplace!

More very soon!
Yours,
Mike

Friday, April 13, 2012

Six Minute English: Legalising Soft Drugs in Australia

Good day everyone. In the latest Six Minute English, Chris and Rosie talk about a controversial proposal by the Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, to legalise soft drugs. Not everyone agrees with him.

Read the questions first, then click on the link to the programme.

1) This week's official programme question: When was the first international treaty to combat the sale and use of drugs signed? Was it in:

a) 1962
b) 1945
c) 1912

2. (a) To "have a crack at something" means....

2. (b) And the expression "crack" can also mean....

3. What, according to the programme, is the difference between "hard" and "soft" drugs?

4. Why has the Australian Foreign Minister decided to legalise 'soft' drugs?

5. What does the Australian Prime Minister, Miss Julia Gillard, think of the Foreign Minister's idea to legalise soft drugs?

6. What strategy has been adopted by countries like Switzerland and the Netherlands to combat use of hard drugs?

7. Why is this a 'risky strategy'?

Now listen to the programme, as many times as you like. Then write your answers to the questions on the Tag Board, or in a comment just after this message - just click on the Comments link immediately below.

I look forward to answers from as many of you as possible! I will post the official answers next week.

Meanwhile, it's vital to do some listening practice as often as you can, ideally a little every day. Elementary listeners (Common European Framework levels A1 and A2) should try Michael Marzio's Real English. More advanced listeners should try The British Council's Learn English Podcasts. These are, of course, just two examples. On this Blog , scroll down the right-hand column to the 'Listening and Video Sites' section. You'll find plenty of useful links here.And remember to visit the British Council Italy's Facebook Page!

That's all for the moment. Good luck with the listening quiz. More very soon!
Yours,
Mike

Thursday, April 12, 2012

This week on the Blog

Dear All,

A short message today, to say that the Tag Board is active once more.

Coming up: a fresh Listening Quiz.

And here's a link to our new online class magazine, English In Rome. Come and visit us, and help us choose a new, snappy name for our e-zine.

The name should ideally consist of one or two words, and express who we are, where we are and what we do.

I look forward to getting your ideas!

That's all for now. More soon.

Yours,
Mike

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Easter Greetings

A very good Easter to all our community. I'll be back again on 11 April.

I have suspended the Tag Board until 11 April because I won't be able to check it regularly for Spammers. However, you can still leave Comments.

Meanwhile, explore the Net as much as you can. Use the links here in our Blog to practise your English, especially Listening.

Have a very good holiday.
Yours,
Mike