Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Listen up!

Hello all.
As I often say, to get better at listening to English, you need to practise. It's like sport or music. A little, every day.

Serious musicians spend, in fact, several hours a day practising. For listening to English, I always suggest at least ten minutes a day.

Below, I set out two ideas for this week. First, the famous American "Technology, Entertainment and Design" website - TED to you. A quick visit today revealed these topics:

Erin McKean: The joy of lexicography - all about dictionaries, how they are made and why we use them.

Thomas Peschak, Ocean Photographer. Great talk and wonderful images and footage. Don't miss seeing Thomas swimming with the sharks!

These talks are for more advanced students, but you can download the transcripts to help you. Just click the "Download" button to the right of the window.
After watching these talks, leave your reactions and opinions in a Comment or on the Tag Board.

Next, on the BBC's Learning English: Being polite by using the passive. In English, to talk about delicate subjects, or ask embarrassing questions, we use the passive rather than the active voice. The principle here is to use less direct language. 

Check here to find out more. What are the rules and suggestions? Do the exercises and then post your answers on the Tag Board or in a Comment. 

I look forward to everybody's participation in all the ideas I have mentioned. Don't be shy - go straight to the Tag Board or to Comments as soon as you have finished a task.

Finally, here's a deal. Towards the end of this month, I'm going to Spain. I used to speak Spanish quite well, but it's now quite rusty. So as often as I can, I'll go online and listen to the news on Radio Nacional de Espana, or Radio Exterior de Espana. I'll let you know how I progress.

Have a nice day,
Mike

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