Last month I was reading Mark Kermode’s novel ‘How Does it Feel?’, which is a funny and interesing recount of his goal towards becoming a famous popstar. At a certain period of his life, the author enrols in a band that played skiffle, and I thought to myself ‘skiffle! What’s that?’ I hadn’t the slightest idea of what it was, so I googled it up and found, among many other interesting links, the one that I’ve turned into a listening activity for those that are loony about the history of rock bands. The video mentions big names like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and the Rollings, among many others, who had all apparently started off in the showbiz as kids playing skiffle in their sheds or even busking. Anyway, if you feel like doing a listening activity, just click on the button below and let me know if you found it interesting.
Before doing the listening, you might want to watch this video by Knob Town Skiffle Band on Youtube.
Many of my students constantly ask me what I think about Brexit and if this will affect me as a British person living in Spain to which I obviously answer that I AM quite concerned. But what I’m really interested in is how all this Brexit issue fits in with the idea of globalisation and free trade, so here’s a video activity that explores another, very different side of the story.
The video reports on interests that have little or nothing to do with ‘getting back the control of the UK’ and was released just before the elections in May. I think it’s really interesting and wish I had seen it earlier.
I’ve used the video to set up listening activity for Advanced and Proficiency level students. You may want to do the vocabulary quiz activity first to be able to cope with the video and after click on the listening activity that you will find underneath the vocabulary quiz.
There has been a lot of talk about the moon lately because fifty years ago man set foot on it. There also seems to be a lot of debate related to whether this actually happened or if it was merely propaganda due to the Space Race. Aware as I am that this information will most probably remain a mystery as well as providing a nice subject for an English class debate, I’ve used a video from BBC Earth to explore the topics of Science and Technology and The Natural World within the subject of space travel/exploration because this is one of the possible questions you could be required to deal with in a speaking test.
As an introduction, we’re going to see some idioms that use the words ‘moon and stars’. Afterwards, as a second step, I’ve posted an activity where you can try to predict some of the reasons why the moon is important for life on earth. A third step implies watching a video and doing a true/false activity related to the information you extract. But we’re not going to finish here, instead we’re going to listen to the same video again (although much more carefully this time), to develop listening strategies for very specific words you hear in the video as this activity is a filling the gap one.
Can we really deny this is happening? This beautiful island, populated many centuries ago by the Vikings is under threat. But just as Jason Box claims, ‘What happens in Greenland doesn’t stay in Greenland,’ meaning by this, that this is an issue that concerns the whole of humanity.
I’ve used this news from CNN as a listening activity for C levels. The video is of astonishing beauty as well as an alarming call to urgency.