Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Video: Julian Assange of Wikileaks - hero or villain?

(B1), B2, C1, C2

The controversial website Wikileaks collects and posts highly confidential documents and videos. Its creator Julian Assange is considered by some as a heroic campaigner for press freedom and by others as a troublemaker exposing diplomatically-sensitive information that should be kept secret. In this interview from the TED site, you will have the chance to judge for yourself.  Video time: 19 mins 34 secs  NB Subtitles available in English or French.
Task:  Watch the video. At one point, the presenter Chris Anderson asks the audience if they consider Julian Assange to be a "people's hero" or "a dangerous troublemaker". What is the majority view?  What's your own view?

Go to the video here


Audio and Reading: Why are animals getting fatter?

A2, B1, B2

Animals all around the world are getting fatter, but it's not just a question of lifestyle. In this audio programme from the VOA Special English site, you will learn about other possible causes recently discovered. These include a virus which could also be linked to weight gain in humans. The programme is written in simplified American English and the presenters speak slowly . There are also exercises to help you with vocabulary, reading and listening comprehension. Total activity time: 25 minutes to 1 hour.


Task: 1 Listen to the audio without reading the transcript. 2 Go down the page, read the transcript and listen again. 3 Do the five exercises top right.

Go to the activity here.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Video: changing the way we educate our children

B2, C1, C2

In this video from Youtube , you will hear a talk by education expert Ken Robinson on why we should change the way we educate our children. The talk is illustrated by a cartoonist, who reproduces the key points of the talk with cartoons and text.  Video time: 11 mins 6 secs. 


Task: Watch the video. Possible follow-ups: 
- Listen again without looking at the cartoons.
- Watch the video with the sound off . Pause the video from time to time and look at the
   illustrations. Imagine that you are giving the talk. What did you say?   

Go to the video here.