Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Eight Questions for Six Minutes

Hello everyone. I have been looking at the relatively new-format Six Minute English on the BBC's Learning English site. And I thought I would share it with you and post a new Six Minute English Quiz,

The new format now allows you to see, on the same page, the list of words being discussed, and also the transcript. But I would ask you to follow this procedure:
 - First, study the questions I have posted here. 
 - Then listen to the conversation. Make a note of your answers.
 - Post your answers in a Comment or on the Tag Board. 
 - Finally, check your answers against what you see in the transcript.

So here are this week's Quiz Questions for Six Minute English. Read them first and then click on the link below to listen to Neil and Finn's conversation.

1. What's the strange thing about robots?
2. Using robots to do a task is called _____ . (one word)
3. Official question: what makes a job more likely to be done by robots? Is it:
a) manipulating small objects?
b) working in open spaces?
c) social and emotional skills?
4. Which key skill does Finn not mention? negotiation, originality, a photographic memory, persuasion, caring for others, or manual dexterity?
5. A study by Oxford University suggests that ___ per cent of existing jobs will be automated in the next ___ years. (two numbers)
6. Oxford University researcher Michael Osborne says computers are increasingly ___ ___ ___ . (three words)
7. A "white-collar" job is one that you do in an _____, not in a _____ .
8. In law firms, it is being predicted that computers will do the _____ work and the lawyers will do the _____ _____ stuff. (one, and two words)

Now listen to the conversation. Post your answers in a Comment or on the Tag board on the right. I'll give you the official answers at the end of the week - but you can see these for yourselves anyway.

And I hope that you will all take part in the Quiz! The first person who completes the Quiz successfully - I'll take him or her out for an apero!

Good luck and more soon!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

6 Minute Grammar: Conditionals

Hello everybody. This week we're going over to the BBC to look at a relatively new programme, "Six Minute Grammar".

Right now, let's look at conditional sentences. These are an essential component of any language. They are not difficult in English, but need some attention, especially when we're talking about imaginary situations.

Listen to Callum and Finn talking about conditionals. Here's a question for you to answer:

What are the four main conditional structures?

Give us your answer, with a few details, in a Comment or on the Tag Board.

Coming up in the next post: a quick conditional quiz.

More very soon!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Happy New (academic) Year.

Hello everyone.

We're now into the new October-February cycle of courses. I am about to see two groups today.

I will take them through a few useful web sites, such as this one. this is a guide to the Net for students of English, so I'll begin by listing a few sites here:

1) The British Council's Learn English site for Adults

Listen to the Elementary Podcasts.

2) The British Council's Learn English for Teens.
Don't let the word 'teens' put you off. There is something here for everyone. Explore this site, but also check out "Skills"/"Listening Skills" on the menu.

3) The BBC's "Learning English" site.
Six Minute Grammar, The English We Speak, Adverb Position 2 - these are just some of the ways in which this site can help you.

4) For more advanced students: TED. TED stands for "Technology, Entertainment and Design". But it's about lots of things. How about "20 Words That Aren't In The Dictionary Yet"?

Or, if you're wondering what to do in your life, try watching this talk: "Why Some of Us Don't Have One True Calling"

One final thing. Whenever you visit a site, give us your reactions by posting a message in a Comment, or on the Tag Board. It's as easy as 1-2-3-, but if you find it difficult, just ask me.

More soon!