Friday, April 20, 2012

Video: Curitiba - Brazil's dream city

(A2), B1, B2, C1

In 2010, the city of Curitiba in Brazil won the Globe Sustainable City Award. In a 2007 poll, ninety-nine percent of its inhabitants said they were happy to live there. A lot of Curitiba's success is attributed to Mayor Jaime Lerner, In this video from Youtube, you will hear about some of the innovative ideas he had and see the results of these initiatives. Video time: 15 minutes. Activity time; 20 to 35 minutes.

Task:  Watch the video and say if these statements are true or false.

1  Jaime Lerner demolished buildings and widened city streets.
2  Cars are like mother-in-laws.
3  Lerner is still Mayor of Curutiba today.
4 The three main issues for cities are mobility, sustainability and availability.
5 The number of passengers on public transport is eighty times higher than at the beginnning.
6  Public transport is free.
7 The city has four times the recommended green space per inhabitant.
8 The slums are cleaned by city workers.
9 The new houses are designed and built by the people who will occupy them.

Go to the video here.

Check your answers here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Video: Low-cost airline launches new initiative

(A2), B1, B2, (C1)

The low-cost airline Westjet, based in Canada, has found an original way to reduce its operating costs. Video time: 1 min 26 seconds. Activity time: 5 to 20 minutes

Task: Watch the video and answer these questions:

What is the new idea?
2  What's the advantage for guests (passengers)?
3  How does it save money?
4  What do we call April 1st in English?

Go to the video here.

Check your answers here.

For another innovative new service from Westjet, go here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Audio:Two faces of tourism

(A2), B1, B2, (C1)

Anita is from Prague in the Czech Republic. In this activity from the elllo site, she talks about the impact of tourism on her country. Audio time: 2 minutes 24 seconds. Activity time: 10 to 30 minutes

Task:  1 Play the audio without looking at the script. Listen for the words  below. Which words are used to describe the good side of tourism, and which ones describe the bad?

money  -  experience the history  - beer tours  - Japanese tourists  - Tijuana, Mexico  - scribbling on the wall

2 Read the audio script and listen again. If you click on the expressions in blue, you can hear a definition and some other examples in context.

 Go to the activity here.