Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Video: How to reduce rush-hour traffic

B1, B2, C1

Rush-hour traffic causes pollution and a lot of stress for car drivers, who find that their journey to work gets a little longer every year. In this video from TED, Jonas Eliasson, a Swedish traffic expert, explains how Stockholm managed to solve its traffic problem. Video time: approximately 6 minutes. Activity time: 20 to 45 minutes





Task: Watch the video from about 02.30 to the end and answer the questions
1  What was the problem in Stockholm?
2  What new measure did they try in 2006?
3  What happened on the first day?
4  What was the situation five years later?
5  What happened at the end of the trial period? And then in 2007?
6  How did public support for the measure change?
7  What happened when they did a study on:
    - changes in people's driving habits?
    - public attitudes to the measures?
      
       Check your answers here
     
       You can see the complete text of the talk here.  


 


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pronunciation: Analysing and practising connected speech

(A2), B1, B2, C1

One way to improve your pronunciation is to listen to short audio sequences and then to analyse how the different words are connected together. In this video from Rachel's English, you will see an example of how to do this.

 

Task:  Watch the video above and speak when Rachel asks you to repeat. 

For more practice of the different aspects of pronunciation seen in this video, try these other activities from Help Yourself to English:

1 The "schwa" or /ə/ sound - go here or here.  
2 Linking of words in pronunciation: go here or here
3 Stress on individual words: go here.
4 Stressing different words in sentences: go here.
5 Differences between British and American pronunciation: go here

 

Pronunciation: British vs American English

A2, B1, B2, C1

This video shows some of the main differences in prounciation between American and British pronunciation. You will hear different words spoken by both American and British speakers and practise the different forms.
Video time: 4 minutes 34 seconds. Activity time: 5 to 15 minutes.

Task: Watch the video below and repeat the words as you hear them.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Pronunciation - Linking words in pronunciation 2

A2, B1, B2 (C1)

This activity from Oxford Online English  explains how English native speakers link words together when they speak quickly. We have already looked at the links between consonants and vowels in another post on Help Yourself to English. This video also looks at the links between vowels and other links between consonants. You will also do two exercises to practise the different links. Video time: 5 minutes 14 seconds. Activity time: 10 to 25 minutes.


Task:  Go to the activity page, watch the video, then do the two exercises that follow. Then check your answers at the bottom of the activity page.

Go to the activity page here.

The other post from Help Yourself to English on the same subject is here.