Thursday, November 14, 2013

Video: Project management made simple

B1, B2, (C1)

Do you have to work on projects with customers, suppliers or maybe with other colleagues inside your organisation? In this video from Youtube, you will learn and practise some of the language we use for talking about objectives, results and how to manage projects. Video time: 2 minutes 42 seconds  Activity time: 10 to 30 minutes

Task: 1 Open the exercise sheet and read  A:  "Key Vocabulary"
2 Read the summary in B. Can you guess any of the missing words? 
3 Watch the video, then complete the missing words in B. Listen again if necessary.

Go to the video here.
Go to the exercises here.
Check your answers here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Audio: A healthy diet

A2, B1

In this listening game  from the Elllo site, you will hear somebody talking about what he east and drinks during the day. You will answer some questions about each activity, then look at some of the language for describing diet.  Audio time: 3 minutes 36 seconds. Activity time; 15 to 30 minutes

Task:  Go to the activity page and
1 Press the "Begin Game" button. Listen to the audio, then a question will appear. 
2 To answer the question, click on one of the three photos. If your answer is wrong, you will hear the audio again
3 Press the "Continue" button to go to the next question
4  Go down the page to Part 2. Read the audio script and listen at the same time

5  Here are some expressions from the audio. Match the verbs in A with the nouns in B

A    skip       put on        stay in     cut out         have          cheat on
B    shape     a diet         weight     fast food      breakfast   a snack       

6 Complete the sentences with these verbs.
    stay in       skip         cut out       have     go on    lose    be out of    put on      

a  I usually ______  breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I sometimes  ______ a meal if I'm very busy.
b  I 've _______ weight, so I think I'll have to ________ sweets and chocolates 
c  I don't want to _________ shape, so I'm going to join a gym. I also want to _______ a diet.
d  I'm going to _______ 10 kilos, and then I'll start running to _________ shape.

Go to the activity page here
Check your answers here

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Video: 3D printing

(A2), B1, B2, (C1)

Are you looking for an unusual present for Christmas or someone's birthday? In this video from Youtube, you will learn how 3D printing technology can be used to make a model of you. Yes, the  real you, but in miniature! Video time: 7 mins 24 secs. Activity time: 20-30 minutes

Task: Watch the video and answer the questions

1 How big is the standard model ?
2 What happens in the scanning booth?
3 What sort of people will be interested in the product?
4 What's the starting price? 
5 How does the 3D printer build the model?
6 What can this printer do that other 3D printers can't?
7 What happens to the excess powder?
8 Can the 3D printer print two different materials at the same time?
9 What's the final stage in the process?

Go to the video here.
Check your answers here.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Video: Confusing words 2

A2, B1, (B2)
Do you know the difference between come and go? Or between bring and take ?  These verbs are often confused. To understand the differences, you are going to watch a short video from the Simple English Videos site  You will then do an exercise to check your understanding. Video time: 2 minutes. Activity time: 10 to 25 minutes.

Task: 1  Watch the video without looking at the videoscript. Watch again and use the script (under the video window) if necessary.  

2 Now complete these sentences with one of the verbs.


1   I have my car. I can ______ you to the station if you want.
2   A: Can I _______ this shirt back if it's not the right size? B: Yes, of course, sir.
3   A: Our holiday was great! B: Fantastic! When did you _______ back?
4   I'll  show you where Mrs. Gordon's office is. Please ________ with me.
5   If you ______ down this street, it's the second road on the right.
6   We're invited to dinner at David and Steph's tonight. What time do we have to ____?
7   I'll see you at the airport at seven tomorrow. Don't forget to _______ your passport.
8   Can you _______ this letter to the post for me?
9   I don't want to ______ to London. I want to stay here.
10  ________ upstairs.It's the third floor. Just open the door when you hear the 'click'.
11  Sign in a Chinese restaurant: "Eat here or ________ away"
12  Excuse me. Can you ________ us another bottle of red wine?

Go to the video here.

Check your answers to Exercise 2 here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Video: Mo Farah interviewed after marathon win

(B1), B2, C1, (C2)

In February 2013, athlete Mo Farah won the New Orleans half-marathon in the fastest time ever. He is interviewed after the race by a TV presenter who asks him: "Haven't you run before? This isn't your first time?" She clearly hasn't done her homework. What she doesn't know is that Mo was the 2012 Olympic champion in both the 5,000 m and 10,000 m.  Video time: 2 minutes 9 seconds. Activity time: 15 - 30 minutes

Task:   1 Watch the video and answer the questions.
a  Do you think Mo Farah
    - doesn't realize she has no idea who he is?
    - realizes but isn't sure how to respond?
b  Do you think the journalist 
    - has no idea he's famous from beginning to end?
    - starts to have doubts?

2  Watch again. Which expressions are used in place of the words in italics?  
    (If you need help, combine words from list A and list B below)

a  It's an incredible exploit
b  Quite a lot of people came to the event
c  It's nice to run the fastest ever time.
d  The crowd really supported us.
e  It's a big distance
f   It's twice as far as what I've done today.
You've certainly begun well
h  Do you have any other races in the near future?
i   It's I can't remember exactly when in April.

A  double    break the    long    some    coming    you're off to     got    turned    amazing
B  a great start    feat    the distance    up     time     course record    behind    up    way

Go to the video here..

Check your answers to task 2 here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Audio: Deciding what NOT to pack

(A2), B1, B2

When you go away on holiday, do you often find that you pack too much? What sort of things do you take with you that you never or rarely need?  In this activity from the elllo site, you will hear Jeff talking about six things he wouldn't pack if he was a traveller. Audio time: 2 minutes 54 seconds. Activity time: 10 to 30 minutes.

Task:  1 Listen to the audio without looking at the script. What six things does he recommend NOT taking with you when you travel? What reasons does he give? Listen again if necessary

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

Go to the activity here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Video: A future astronaut dreams of the stars

(A2), B1, B2, C1
On January 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission STS-51-L ended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded just over a minute after takeoff.  On board was physicist Ronald E. McNair, only the second African-American to enter space. 

Exactly 25 years later, the public library in Ronald's home town of Lake City, South Carolina was renamed "The Ronald E. McNair Life History Center" In this animated video from Storycorps , you will discover why. Video time: 3 minutes 17 seconds. Activity time: 15 to 30 minutes.

Task:  Say if these sentences are true or false.

1     Ronald asked his mother if he could go to the public library
2     This was in 1959 and he was nine years old
3     "Coloured" people weren't allowed in the library
4     Ronald was afraid when the police were called.
5     The police were very aggressive.
6     Finally, Ronald was allowed to check out the books.
7     Ronald was disappointed that the "Star Trek" series only showed white astronauts.
8     For him, Star Trek was just science fiction.
9     His brother Carl didn't believe Ronald could become an astronaut.
10   Ronald later flew on the Starship Enterprise

Go to the video here.

Check your answers here.

For more information about Ronald E. McNair, go here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Video: How to improve creative thinking

A2, B1, B2

Tony Buzan is an educational consultant  well-known for his promotion of mind maps as a way of developing creativity. (You can see an example of a mind map on the right). In this short video, you will hear Tony talking about how to improve your creative thinking. Video time; 3 mins 36 secs. Activity time: 10 to 30 minutes.

Task: Watch the video and answer the questions

1 Can everyone  be creative?
2 Can you learn how to be creative?
3 Does creativity come from the right brain or the left brain?
4 How, for example, can you train yourself to think faster?
5 What example does he give of "thinking out of the box"?
6  Most people say: "This is the way I think" Why is this wrong?
7  Why do you think he uses the mind map to illustrate his last point?

Go to the video here.
Check your answers here.
For a summary of the talk, go here.

If you would like some ideas on how to use mind maps to learn English, go here.

Audio: Chatting to a taxi driver

(A2), B1, B2, (C1)

In this listening activity from ESL Lab, you will hear a tourist talking to a taxi driver as they drive to their destination. and answer some questions. You will also have the opportunity to practise some words and expressions you can use in this situation  Audio time: 1 min 39 secs. Activity time: 15 to 40 minutes

Task: 1 Imagine you are a tourist arriving in a US city for the first time. 
1 Make a list of questions you could ask the taxi driver when you get in the taxi.
2 Go to the activity page. Go down the page  to Section II ("Listening Exercises"),  and listen to the audio. Does the tourist ask any of the questions you wrote in 1?
3  Now answer the questions at the end of  Section II.  Listen again to the audio if necessary. Press "Final score" to check your answers. You can also see the script if you click on "Quiz script"
4  Go down the page again to Section III ("Vocabulary activities"). Here you will find three exercises to review vocabulary and expressions from this section.

Go to the activity here.