NB For all activities after 2014, click on the "Answers" link at the bottom of each activity

16.09.14 How to reduce rush hour traffic 1 Lots of old narrow bridges in the centre creating botttlenecks and so traffic jams 2 Introduce a congestion charge of 1-2 euros  3  Traffic fell by 20%
4 Traffic was still about 20% down. 5 The congestion charge was abolished (end of July 2006) and then reintroduced in January 2007 6 Increased from 30% approval just before the introduction to 70% in 2011  7  Impossible to identify who had changed their driving habits because drivers thought they had always driven the same way. 50% of people said they had always been in favour of the congestion charge.

28.08.14 The superlight car project 1  130 g  of CO² per km, equivalent to consumption of 4.5 litres per 100 km  2  To replace steel with lighter materials such as aluminium, magnesium and carbon-reinforced plastics 3 A 35% reduction in weight, corresponding to 0.4 or 0.5 litres of fuel (per 100 km)  4  the new body met the same safety standards as the old body  5  A difference of 560 kg (but the speaker said 660!). The new body has more safety features like airbags and other features such as electric windows and air-conditioning.

27.08.14 "Helping" Africa  Ex. A  12 34567 89 g    
Ex. B  cherish, vocation, get/use out of, lying around, figure out, right off the bat, are/left, right; once and for all, on the lookout 

14.11.13 Project management made simple  Ex. B Most projects fail to meet (or achieve) the objectives 1  stakeholders / outcome / scope  2  80%  / prevents / performance  3  Gantt charts / collaboration technologies / critical path analysis / fishbone diagrams / PM software  4 skills / knowhow / subtract  5 sure / flow  6  avoid (or mitigate)  7 implementation  8 could have been    The challenge is to achieve a quality outcome 

13.11.13  A healthy diet  5  skip breakfast (= not have/miss), put on weight (=more kilos!), stay in shape (= in good physical condition), cut out fast food (= stop eating), have a snack  (= eat), cheat on a diet (= not respect)  6  a  have/skip  b put on/cut out  c be out of/go on  d  lose/stay in

31.10.13  3D printing  1  10% of real size  2  50 cameras take photos of you from all angles 3 Parents who want to make models of their children for grandparents, people with big egos  4 £159 5 It deposits powder layer by layer, glueing each new layer to the last 6 It paints the model at the same time 7 It is hoovered and recycled 8 Possible with similar but not different materials e.g metal and plastic 9 The model is cleaned/stabilised in a special liquid

22/3/13  Confusing words 2  1 take 2 bring 3 come 4 come 5 go  6 go 7 bring 8 take  9 go 10 come 11 take 12 bring

27/2/13  Mo Farah interviewed after marathon win  a  amazing feat  b  turned up  c  break the course record  d  got behind   e  long way  f  double the distance  g  you're off to a great start  h coming up  i  some time

11.02.13  A future astronaut dreams of the stars  1 False - It was "without my parents or myself knowing of his whereabouts"  2  True  3  True  4 False. he just sat on the counter and said "I'll wait" 5 False. They suggested that the librarian let him check out the books. 6  True  7  False. It showed black and white astronauts working together  8  False. It was science fiction for his brother Carl, but science "possibility" for Ronald  9  True. (He was a coloured boy from South Carolina, wearing glasses, and had never flown a plane. How could it be possible?) 10 False. This was the name of the spaceship in Star Trek, but Ronald would later fly in "his own Starship Enterprise"

15.01.13  How to improve creative thinking  1  Yes  2  Yes  3 It's both the right and the left (but it was previously thought that it was only the right brain) 4 Yes - for example, by doing puzzles 5 Finding original uses for a coat hanger - it's important to have original thought. 6. Because you need to look at things from different perspectives 7 Because the mind map encourages you to use your imagination to make associations.

13/12/12  Common English idioms  a  a piece of cake  b go with the flow  c  down the drain  d  full of hot air  that rings a bell f  word of mouth g  play it by ear  h see eye to eye  i  hit the roof  j  break the ice  k easier said than done  l meet halfway 

13/11/12  Youth employment Young people are losing hope, becoming detached (dropping out/becoming marginalized), losing skills, taking part-time unskilled jobs. 2  a  unskilled  b  opportunity  c  satisfaction  d  part-time  e  temping      creation  g  nine to five  h  skills  i   permanent  j   market

4/11/12  Contrastive stress
B: Not the morning session. But I went this afternoon.
B: No, I only went to one of them
B: No, in fact the rooms looked quite empty. But I only wanted to see one talk.
B: That one didn't interest me. It's the stress management one I wanted to see. 
B: I didn't think it was very good. How did she find it?
B: Maybe, but it wasn't very original.  B: I'm not, because I've got a plane to catch. Are you going? 

22/10/12  Confusing words 1  1 raise 2 check 3 control 4 remember 5 rise 6 remind 7 remember 8 check  9 raise 10 remind 11 control 12 rise

24/09/12  (pictures from left to right, UK English word first, then American English equivalent): rubbish - garbage/trash; flats - apartments; bill - check; petrol station - gas station; pavement - sidewalk; trousers - pants; queue - line; lorry - truck; (public) toilets - restrooms; tap - faucet; crossroads - intersection; boot - trunk.

21/09/12 Remembering the Beatles  1  70th  2  300  3  Hey Jude 4  Strawberry Fields Forever (it was near where John Lennon lived as a child)  5 Written by George Harrison - one of the rare songs not written by Lennon and McCartney  6  12 albums. The first was in 1963 (Please Please Me) 7  Over a billion  8 They have a "universal appeal". The music still sounds good today ("they haven't dated")

20/4/12  Curitiba - Brazil's dream city  1  False - he wanted to preserve the old buildings and pedestrianize the streets (not widen them for cars)  2  True - "you want a good relationship with them, but you don't want them to conduct your life"3  False - he retired in 2002 after 22 years. 4 False - the third issue is "identity" 5 True - it's increased from 25,000 to 2 million passengers per day  6  False - Passengers have to pay and the system isn't subsidized 7 True 8 False - the inhabitants clean their own areas in exchange for food  9 True and False! Houses are designed by city architects but "tailored" to the needs of the residents. A lot (but not all) of the building is done by the people who will live in them

19/4/12  Low cost airline introduces..  1 Introducing helium into the air in the cabins 2 Passengers will pay less (the savings will be "passed on to guests") 3 Helium is 85% lighter than nitrogen, so the plane will be lighter and burn less fuel 4 April Fools Day

1/3/12 Stress Monsters  a bilingual  b involve c background d modernize (or promote) e headquarters f performance g provide h urgent i storeys j amazing     

23/2/12 Rosé or pink wine? a  True: but the process uses  less of the grapeskin than red wine. b  False: the report says the Australians and South Africans (but in fact the Americans do the same) c  False: it's increasing in popularity and the market is booming d  True: red wine is "stagnating" and white wine isn't doing well. e True: he suggests "Sero"  f  False: they think the proposal could help them to reduce their stocks of excess red and white wine by mixing the two.  g  True   h  False: they are afraid that the new measure will devalue their work.False: they support the winegrowers. If the measure is introduced, the new type of wine should at least have a different label or name.

6/2/12 Phrasal verb: look 1 a look into  b look through  c look forward to  d look for  e look up  f look around  2 a around b for  c  up  d forward to  e into  f through. 
NB1 You can look around a company or town, and somebody who knows it well can show you around.
NB2  "I look forward to hearing from you" is a standard expression at the end of an email when you are waiting for an answer.

7/6/11 Technology transforms a Peruvian village 1 It has electricity and families have stopped leaving 2 Restaurants, bars, dance halls, computer centres, health clinics, radio stations 3 The water is collected, sand and fine stones are removed, water passes through pipeline to a powerhouse, a turbine converts power of water into kinetic energy, a generator converts this into electricity  4 Twenty-four hours a day ('round the clock') 5 Three - a manager, an operator and administrator 6 Operator: supervises electricity connections, water maintenance, new user connections. Administrator: keeps accounts, checks bills, demands payment  7 As an incentive to start new businesses  8 Fifty, with a target of a hundred ('double') in next ten years  9 Vaccines can be kept cold, mechanisation of labour-intensive work, small businesses are 'mushrooming' (increasing quickly in number), Internet access is facilitating study and global communication

17/5/11 DSK/legal vocabulary  a  claim  b  arrested  c  charged   d  bail/remanded  e  dropped/settlement  f  charged  g  guilty/released  h  guilty/convicted/sentence  i  appeal

27/3/11 The blue whale  Length: 30 m /Weight: over 300 tonnes/Tongue: weighs as much as an elephant/ Heart: the size of a car/Blood vessels: some are so wide you could swim down them/Tail: the width of a small aircraft's wings/Speed: 20 knots/Appetite: can eat up to 40 million krill (a small crustacean) a day/Migration and breeding habits: very little is known.

14/3/11 The talking dictionary  1  All the words are stressed on the first syllable, and the vowel in the second syllable is pronounced  /Ə/ as in "water"

8/3/11  Phrasal verbs. To grow up = grandir; to get on well = bien s'entendre; to bring up = élever (des enfants); to stand up for yourself = se défendre (to stand up for sbdy = défendre qqn); to take sbdy back = ramener qqn  (it takes me back.. = cela me rappelle...) 

18 Gm's new concept car. 1  False. In 2040, 60% of people will live in cities. 2  True - with Segway. Learn more about Segway here.  3  True - it has one motor above each wheel  4  True  5  False - it can travel up to 40 km on one charge. 6 True  7  False - it will need several more years of tests.

24.12.10 Checking in/polite questions 1  to check in for a flight / baggage allowance / a tight connection / to check your baggage / to be over the limit / a carry-on bag / a boarding pass / window or aisle seat / immigration and customs 3 Only two expressions aren't used: Would you mind -ing../ Do you mind if I ....?

01.12.10 Logic puzzle   1 Turn on the first switch for a few minutes. Then switch it off, switch another one on and walk up to the attic. Touch the two bulbs that are off. One will be warm - this corresponds to the first switch you turned on. The bulb that's on corresponds to the second switch you turned on. The cold bulb corresponds to the third switch.
2  Switch or turn on/off: a radio, a TV, a computer, the heating etc.  You can also turn somebody on (= interest somebody sexually) or turn somebody off  (the opposite!) 
Turn up or down: the volume, the heating, the radio, the TV etc. You can also turn down (= reject) a proposal or invitation etc

21.11.10 Phrasal verbs: pick up/drop off. 2 Your children: at school/dance class/a friend's house etc. A visitor: at the airport/train station/their hotel etc. A suit: pick up at a clothes shop/the dry-cleaner's etc; drop off at the dry-cleaner's. A car: at the garage, at a car rental office. Some food: pick up at the supermarket/the delicatessen/a takeaway restaurant; drop off at your house (if you're not going to eat it immediately). 3. "I picked up him" is not possible.

11.11.10 Men's brains, women's brains.  Phrases 1, 5 and 6 refer to men's brains; the others are for women's.

11.11.10 Suggesting and recommending. Sentence 3 is not correct. There are two possible constructions with "suggest" and "recommend":  I suggest/recommend stopping  or  I suggest/recommend (that) they/he/we/etc stop.  

2.11.10  Photos that changed the world. All the sentences are true except the first and the last: Images can't change the world, but they can provoke people to act. Images don't have to be graphic or shocking to be effective - as illustrated by the photo of a girl at Arlington Cemetery.  

1.11.10  Phrasal verb: to run out of  1 "He's run out of petrol" means he has no more petrol.  2 Examples: to run out of time, money, cash, oil, resources, food, ideas, water, space, patience etc. 3  If you've run out of petrol, you have no more left - so you have to push the car!  If you're running out of petrol, you only have a little left -so you can drive to the petrol station. "We're running out of.." and "We're (running) short of.." mean the same thing.

29.10.10  The most common sound in the English language. There are up to eight schwas in the sentence. Look at the syllables in red"It's easier to pronounce a word when you know that the schwa exists"

24.10.10  Logic Puzzle.  If Farmer Giles is walking at 5 km per hour, it takes him 4 hours to get home. Fang is running at 15 km per hour, so in 4 hours, he will run 60 km. Questions with "how": much, fast, long, wide, deep, thick, high, heavy, tall, long ago, often, soon, easy, difficult, quickly, expensive.  (If you don't know what they all mean, find some examples online. For example, "google" the words "how soon")

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