Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Is the Latin Lover Dead?

G'day all. The above question, I have asked my students in Rome many times. Most people, especially the ladies, emphatically reply "No".

And Six Minute English asks "Is Chivalry Dead?

Let's listen and see. Please, however, try not to look at the transcript until you have finished the exercise.

So - Six Questions for Six Minutes:

1. This weeks's official question: Who wrote the novel Don Quixote, about a 50-year old man travelling Spain in search of knightly adventures in rusty armour and a cardboard helmet? Was it…

a) Miguel de Cervantes: b) Leo Tolstoy: c) William Shakespeare?

2. What does Alice ask Neil to do at the beginning of the programme? (Write a short reply)

3. Chivalry was all about [______] and [______] in [______]. Later it was about being [______] to [______]. (One word for each space.)

4. In Poland they have battle [______] every weekend.

5. Jousting is a contest between two people on [______].

6. Professor Laura Ashe of Oxford University says that in medieval times,  [______] made you a better [______].

Post your answers to the Tag Board or write them in a Comment. The first person to post the right answers will get an Honourable Mention and an apero in the nearby Vineria on Via della Croce.

I look forward to maximum participation. Come numerous, to translate directly.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Migrants: The Answers

Hello everyone. I was very pleased to find loyal student Filomena's answers to the latest Quiz. Let's see whether she got them all right:

1. became a volunteer after going on a sailing excursion (The Optician, Carmine)
2. became a volunteer after her mother died (The Chef, Maria-Grazia)
3. doesn't understand why no one in their own countries helps migrants (The Chef, Maria-Grazia)
4. feels the presence of the migrants in the material he uses for his work (The Carpenter, Francesco Tuccio)
5. finds some aspects of his job "sad" (The Gravedigger, Giuseppe Giardino)
6. gets his material from wrecked migrants' boats (The Carpenter, Francesco Tuccio)
7. has had to find three hundred extra beds for migrants (The Hospital Director, Mr Giuffreda)
8. saved forty-seven migrants (The Optician, Carmine)
9. says "tiredness is not in our contract" (The Hospital Director, Mr Giuffreda)
10. says helping migrants is a blessing (The Hospital Director, Mr Giuffreda)
11. says that Italy and Europe are not doing enough to help migrants (The Gravedigger, Giuseppe Giardino)
12. says that until two years ago the media never talked about migrants (The Carpenter, Francesco Tuccio)
13. says there are many more children and teenagers than in the past (The Chef, Maria-Grazia)
14. sells his work all over Europe (The Carpenter, Francesco Tuccio)
15. took some Eritrean survivors out to sea to revisit the area where they were rescued (The Optician, Carmine)

Yes, she did!
What a pity, however, that she was the only person to take part. :-(

I encourage anyone who is studying English to spend a few minutes every day, if they can, on listening practice. It's the real key to making a substantial improvement.

Look no further than the right-hand column of this blog for a guide to useful websites.

Elementary to Intermediate students will find "Real English" a great help. Advanced students should venture onto the radio. The BBC's Radio 4 and World Service are good for news. As a step up, try listening to interviews. The Radio 4 Today programme is a good place to look; see also "Radio 4 in 4", which has clips lasting under 5 minutes.

A very good opportunity to listen to authentic English is offered by the British Council's "Learn English" site. "Learn English Teens", whether you are a teenager or not, has some very useful materials.

All the links can be found on the right-hand column. If you need help, just write to me in a comment or a message on the Tag Board.

Now watch this space for the next listening quiz!

Happy listening.