Monday, September 24, 2012

Vocabulary: British and American English

A2, B1, B2, (C1)

There are many differences between British and American English words, You are going to learn some of the most common ones. Activity time: 15 minutes to 1 hour

Task:  Look at the 12 pictures on the right.

1  Can you name the different things in the pictures? Do you know if your word is American or British English? 

2  Go to the interactive wordlist and check your answers. NB You have two search options - British to American or American to British.

3 If you want to learn some more British and American English differences, do the quiz. If you're not sure of the answer, the interactive wordlist can help you. 

Go to the interactive wordlist here.
Go to the quiz here.
Check your answers to 1 and 2 here



Friday, September 21, 2012

Audio: Remembering the Beatles

A2, B1 (B2)

The Beatles have sold more records than any other band . But how much do you know about their history? In this activity, you will answer some questions about the Beatles, then listen to a conversation between two fans to check your answers This audio sequence comes from the Podcasts in English site. Audio time: 3 minutes 48 seconds.  Activity time: 15 - 30 minutes.


Task:  Before you listen, write down the titles of the first three Beatles songs that come into your head. Then look at questions 1-8 and see how many you can answer:

1  What birthday did Paul McCartney celebrate in 2012?
2  How many songs did the Beatles record?
3  What is the most popular Beatles song?
4  Part of the title of a Beatles' song is also the name of a children's home in Liverpool. What's the title of the song? 
5  How is the song "Something" different from most Beatles songs?
6  How many albums did they release before they split up in 1970? When was their first album?
7  The Beatles are the best-selling band in history. How many records have they sold?
8  Why are the Beatles still popular today?

Now listen to the audio sequence and compare your answers.

Go to the audio here.
Check your answers here.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Video: The Secret Powers of Time

(B1), B2, C1, C2

Philip Zimbardo  is a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. In this talk from the RSA site, he describes how our different perspectives of time influence our personalities, our relationships, and our actions. The talk is illustrated by a cartoonist, who reproduces the key points with pictures and text. Video time: 10 minutes 9 seconds. Activity time: 20 minutes to 1 hour.


Task:  1 Look at the illustration above. What kind of people do you think live in past, present or future time zones? How is their behaviour different? Do you think we live in different time zones at different ages?

2 Watch the video to see how Philip Zimbardo answers the questions in 1. Pause the video where necessary  to look at the illustrations and relate them to what the speaker has just said.

Go to the video here.