Advanced C1 word formation activity · Upper intermediate B2 word formation

Open Arms

It made my heart sink to read the crude, if not horrible, criticism towards Richard Gere’s visit on Open Arms. The social networks can give the best of us, but can also show the extreme lack of sensitivity of many. I want to make my tiny contribution towards what is exactly happening on Open Arms and why these lifesavers have decided to invest all their efforts, energy and passion into saving human lives.

It’s been over ten days since Open Arms awaits at sea for a port to allow the entry of over 150 migrants from African countries to European shores. Among them are sick, injured, children and pregnant women who have been trying to reach Europe crossing the Central Mediterranean route from Libya. Malta has recently accepted to rescue the last 36 to board the boat but denies access to the other 121 and refuses responsibility for these lives. Oscar Camps, the founder of Open Arms, has refused to accept this offer for safety reasons and will continue to wait for the nearest ports, Malta and Italy, to allow disembarkation.

‘According to the maritime law’, says Camps, ‘any person in international waters and in danger must be rescued however, the European Union has established a blockade concerning migration from African countries, refusing to provide a solution to the humanitarian crisis that has resulted from war, violence and famine.’

The pictures, video and text below are from the Open Arms website

http://www.proactivaopenarms.org

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Advanced C1 word formation activity

Word formation, Advanced C1:Ten Things Tourist Should’t do When Visiting London

Have you ever visited London? Many of my students haven’t which is a real pity because this city is an incredible place bustling with life and exciting things to do. It’s also a cultural melting pot where you would hardly go out without meeting people from all walks of life.

What’s it like?

If you walk around London, you’ll see that it is an astonishing blend of tradition and innovation. You’ll see typical London pubs with all their flowers hanging out and the menus chalked in Times Roman out on the street claiming both, locals and tourists’ attention to stop and savour a lager or some fish and chips and just a few metres ahead, there’ll be a design museum or a second-hand store or whatever.

Are visitors welcome?

Concerning hospitality, the British tend to mind their own business, but if they sense that you may be lost or confused, somebody will very probably politely ask you if you need any help. However, don’t take this for granted, helpful doesn’t mean that they easily tolerate queue-jumping, or pedestrians getting in their way during the rush hour. Here you would most probably get an intimidating ‘Oi, you!’

Is London expensive?

Well as all cities, it depends on what you intend to do but it isn’t half as expensive as other European ones, like Paris or Rome and even if you could feel a bit upset for having to pay a few bob for a pint of beer, there are hundreds of other things you can do for pennies or for free, like visiting the wonderful museums, or having a picnic in one of London’s beautiful parks, just to mention a couple.

Will London hurt? And… will it go away?

Well, I’m not going to go on bragging about London because I’d end up writing a really long article, but I can assure you that, not only it doesn’t hurt, but it’s really worth a visit and NO, once you’ve been there, it will never, ever go away! (You’ve had it mate!)

So what are you waiting for? Here’s a word formation activity I’ve adapted from an article with some tips for visiting London (without putting your foot in it), for those brave souls that want to be on the safe side before setting off on their trip.

The article is from The Culturetrip.com and images from Unsplashed.

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Advanced C1 word formation activity

Word formation activity Advanced level: Why do Brits Talk About the Weather so Much?

People walikng in the rain with umbrellas, UK: Wet and windy weekend for Britain
Photo from The Telegraph

Is it actually true that the British spend a lot of their time talking about the weather, or this just another one of those beliefs like ‘we have to have tea at five on the dot or we’ll go bananas ’,  sort of stuff ?  And, if it is true, is this feature shared by other cultures?

Well, I must say that we are particularly fond of talking about the weather, although I would also say that  it’s  a common topic of conversation in Spain too. However, what I do seem to notice is that people from these countries have a different way to approach this subject even when both typically use it as an icebreaker.

Where I live, people usually make exclamations about it. Sort of like ‘Vaya frio! Where a Brit would most probably make a tactfully brief statement of one or two words and polish it off with a question tag, ‘Cold, isn’t it?

Looking into this aspect of British culture, I found this really interesting article  that I’ve used to create a word formation activity for higher levels of English (C1 more or less).

The  article is from the BBC by Linda Geddes

Read the text and focus on each blank  using the words in brackets. The missing words are either adjectives or adverbs as the focus here is to practise with the different types of prefixes (yes, there are a couple of negative ones), and suffixes used to form these words.

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Advanced C1 word formation activity

Word formation Advanced C1: Never Liked Him Anyway

Trump

Looking  for some authentic stuff for my teaching syllabus, I came across the Website ‘Never liked it anyway’. This website was set up as a mean by which broken-hearted people could get rid of their pain by actually selling a ‘reminder’ of their split up relationships as well as offering them the chance to emotionally cleanse feelings by telling the story that is behind the object they wish to flog.

Many were the stories I read, but there was one that really caught my eye and provoked a spasmodic burst of laughter I found impossible to repress. As a woman who cannot believe that individuals of this type should be able to climb so high up on the social ladder, and as a woman who constantly feels insulted by his utter stupidity, misogynist interventions and vulgarity, I feel I must do ‘my bit’.

I never liked him anyway. What’s more, I think he’s absolutely loathsome. But what worries me most, isn’t that this person finds no limit in vomiting outrageous content, but the fact that he rules a democratic country and is supported by a group of people who obviously find him amusing and applaud his ‘interventions’ by giving him pats on the back along with chokes of laughter.

If we allow somebody (especially somebody in power), to insult a person who has been emotionally or sexually abused, or look the other way when he’s  mocking an impaired journalist, and refuse to acknowledge his constant curbing of human rights, we are showing the symptoms of a sick civilisation, the very one we sustain as an icon of the ethical and cultural heritage we feel so proud of.

These are no longer the times of the Roman Empire and their bloody violent circuses. Neither should political meetings be modelled on WWE RAW. He has got it all wrong and fortunately, there are many that are willing to point this out in some way or other. Someone called yesimserious wrote a post on Never Liked it anyway, and because I fully agree with the content and absolutely love her/his witticism, I’ve turned the entry into a word formation activity for my blog.

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