B1 · B2

The 10 Scariest stories from Madeleine Davies’ blog, Jezebel

Now the cold weather has arrived, people retire from the streets early to take refuge in their warm houses and, as usual there is nothing decent on telly. Now is the time when we really feel like curling up on our couches, cat-like, with a hot cup of tea, cocoa or coffee, opening an enjoyable book for a peaceful evening read.   Many of you have told me about your literary taste, and a few even said they were keen on horror stories.  I happened to come across Madeleine’s blog with these incredible, bone-chilling stories and I would like to share them with you.

Be aware! You may hear strange noises, see creeping shadows and never, ever sleep again!

Click to Jezebel blog

B1 · Listening

The 10 Strangest hobbies in the world

Only a little more than a month to go before we start thinking about our New Year’s resolutions! Some will be thinking about losing weight or maybe, quitting a bad habit.  Meanwhile, others may think that their life needs a new challenge or something exciting to spice it up. I wonder if any of you would consider taking up one of these unusual hobbies? Mind you, some of them seem a bit boring, while others can even appear pretty disgusting.

The video is from ToptenzNet on  youtube.

B1 · B2 · phonetics

The Importance of having a good pronunciation

In yesterday’s English class we were talking about the difficulties one can encounter when travelling to a foreign country. Some students mentioned problems such as: jet lag,  losing their luggage or missing a flight, among others. When suddenly, one  student said  ‘That people can’t understand you’. I must say that he was absolutely right! Unfortunately, even if we know the grammar and vocabulary of a foreign language, up to a certain degree, on some occasions, the influence of our L1 can be so strong that people might not understand us or even get the wrong message.

Just for a laugh, watch this video and you’ll get the idea of how a bad pronunciation can have a negative effect on your holidays.

Enjoy or laugh your head off. Whatever you prefer!

 

B2 · songs

The Sailorman’s Hymn

This beautiful, although extremely sad ballad by Kamelot, tells the story of a woman hopefully waiting for her lover who may have died at sea in a shipwreck. Although she feels lost and lonely, she never loses hope and lights a candle every night to guide him back home to her. Why the man went away, is not clear in the lyrics, but the reference to the ‘resounding sirens’ bring to mind something that at first  looked tempting, but finally had a tragic outcome.

The song may also be a romantic reference to smuggling, which during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was very common in the British Isles as many were those that at night, risked their lives in an attempt to earn a living.

Anyway, whatever the ballad is about, Kamelot’s vocalist, Roy Khan,  has such  a wonderful voice that I want to share it with you, so as to bring to mind a bard-like story of  remote Ireland.

I hope you enjoy the song.

A2 · B1 · B2 · songs

If You Don’t Know Me by Now

The British pop/soul band, Simply Red covered this song in 1989 and it became their second best-known hit after reaching number 1 in U.S. The original track was recorded in 1972 by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.

Here the aim of listening to this song is to become aware of the first conditional, which is actually the title of the song. The song also has some very useful expressions  related to a romantic relationship between a couple that are arguing. Although it is a very old song, I chose it because it is easy to understand, but as I always say to my students, be careful with some of the expressions that are grammatically incorrect, like double negatives, but are often used in colloquial speech.

 

 

A2 · B1 · Vocabulary

Relationship vocabulary quiz

relationship cloud