Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Six Questions for Six Minutes of English: The Plastic Princess.

Hello everybody. Some days ago there was a news item in the media which reported  criticism of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, on the part of the novelist Hilary Mantel ("Wolf Hall" and other novels) who described her as the "Plastic Princess".

In this week's Six Minute English, Finn and Neil talk about Ms Mantel's observations. As usual, read the comprehension questions first, then listen to the programme.

1. (Official question) How many wives did English King Henry VIII have?

a) four b) five c) six

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

2. A famous British novelist referred to the Duchess of Cambridge as a "shop window [_____]" with "no personality of her [_____]."

3. The Tudor period in English history lasted from [ _____ ] to [ _____ ].

4. According to the novelist Hilary Mantel, Kate Middleton appeared to have been "designed by a [ _____ ] and built by [ _____ ] ."

5. How does Hilary Mantel compare Kate Middleton with Princess Diana? Write a short answer using the phrases you hear.

6. According to Hilary Mantel, Princess Diana's death was caused by [ _____ _____]. (two words)

Now listen to the programme. When you have finished, share your answers with us in a Tag Board message, or in a Comment.

Seven readers took part in the last quiz, so let's see if we can at least double the number! Answers at the end of the week.

Meanwhile, I will be reviewing the links between this blog and useful web sites, and will let you know if there are any big changes.

More soonest!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Could you learn eleven languages?

Hello everyone. I hope you're enjoying the weekend.

I've spent much of today (Sunday) surfing the Net. And on the BBC I came across this amazing story about a guy who has learned eleven languages before the age of 21.

Read all about him here!

Could you do the same?

Keep coming back to this page. In a day or two I'll add another Listening Quiz.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ancient Viruses: The Answers

Hello everyone. I apologise profusely for the fact that a month has passed since the last post. My excuse must be a heavy workload and the fact that we had a changeover of classes at the beginning of February.

However, here at long last are the official answers to our recent Six Minute English Quiz on Ancient Viruses:

Question 1 (Official): How many genes do human beings have?

The correct answer is a) between 10,000 and 25,000.

2. Research was conducted on thirty-eight different mammals, including humans, mice, elephants and dolphins.

3. Viruses which we carry now infected our common ancestors at least one hundred million years ago.

4. Some viruses are good, and one example has helped to develop the female placenta.

5. By studying ancient viruses, scientists can learn more about cancers and infections.

Many thanks to Valentina, Sara, Chiara, Alessandra, Alessandro, Cristian and Ilaria for particpating. This was very encouraging. And I hope many more people will take part in our next quiz.

Watch this space for regular updates. And do check the website guide in the right-hand column.

More later this week!