Monday, September 23, 2013

Going Where The Work Is: this Week's 6-Minute English Quiz.

Hello readers. This week we are treating a long-standing problem: what do you do if there is no job for you?

As is well known, Italians, especially the young and well qualified, have been facing this problem for years. A typical example is a former student who had a good-sounding job in IT here in Rome. His level in English was pre-intermediate. This did not deter him from trying his chances in London. Four years on, he and his girl-friend are still there. Stefano has a good IT job in the City of London, designing software to manage automatic telling machines (ATMs) in banks. His job in Rome was 'precario', in other words, short-term and uncertain. In London, he has a proper contract and good pay.

So now we are going to hear a general discussion about emigration world-wide. As usual, read the questions first. Then listen to the programme, with Rob and Jennifer speaking, and send us your answers. Use the Tag board on the right, or a Comment. I very much hope as many people as possible will join in, leave their answers, and make our site interactive. You need only give short answers.

1. This week's official question: According to figures from the United Nations, which one of these countries has the largest number of immigrants as a percentage of its national population? Is it:

a) the United States of America b) Qatar c) Turkey.

Listen to the programme to find out the answer, which you’ll hear at the end.

2. Where did Jennifer go to work, and what did she do?

3. Worldwide, how many people are international migrants?

4. What jobs do many of these people do, and in which countries?

5. Why is the ‘brain drain’ a problem for developing countries?

6. Many migrants work in order to send ….. [Complete with a phrase expressing the idea.]

7. Worldwide, how much money was sent home to developing countries last year by migrants?

8. In Australia, what do you need to collect in order to obtain a working visa?

9. If the streets of a country a migrant moves to are not exactly ‘paved with gold’, how can a migrant benefit anyway?

Now listen to the programme. Post your answers on the Tag Board on the right, or in a Comment. If you choose 'Comment', please choose the Name/URL option, entering only your name. If you choose 'Anonymous', please write your name at the end of your message so that we know who you are. You need only put your first name; add your surname if you wish.

Enjoy the quiz - and more very soon!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Annoying Office Habits: The Answers

Hello all. Here at last are the answers to July's six Minute English Quiz on Annoying Office Habits:

Question 1 (Official):

What is the annoying habit of onychophagia is commonly known as?
b) Biting your nails is the right answer!

2) An example of annoying habits mentioned by the first speaker was: tapping your feet, tapping the table, tapping on your desk.

3) How did the first speaker counteract the bad habit? By putting on headphones.

4) What bad habit does the second speaker describe? Talking in jargon

5) What examples of this bad habit do Rob and Jenny give? “Thinking outside the box”, “Going forward”, “To touch base

6) What do Rob and Jenny say is top of the list for bad office habits? Arriving late for meetings.

7) What does Charles Elvin, of the Institute of Leadership, say that managers should do to eliminate bad habits? “Managers should address these problems and understand what office workers don’t like by ensuring that workers can air their grievances.”

Many thanks to Damiana, on a current September course, for her answers!

Watch out for the next Quiz, coming at the beginning of next week.

Have a very good Sunday!

Monday, September 16, 2013

A New Year Starts.

Hello readers. It's new academic year at the British Council Rome. I will be brining you new listening quizzes, new web sites and new ideas on how to get the best from The Internet when you are learning and practising English.

Meanwhile, see the post below dated July 9. It contains the last listening quiz of last academic year before the summer. You have until the end of this week to find the answers. How many of you can get them right? I'd love to hear from as many people as possible.

I look forward to your replies and feedback. More very soon!

Michael Ivy, The British Council Teaching Centre, Rome, Italy.