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