In the next activity on word formation, you may notice that I use the expression ‘to go bananas’. Well, that’s another one of those food idioms. Can you guess what this idiom means? If I went bananas one of those days in which many of my students didn’t do their homework, what do you think happened to me? Did I go all yellow as if I were suffering from jaundice? Did I sort of peel? Just for the sake of learning a little more English and having some fun, you might want to make a guess on the link below.
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.
travel (uncountable noun) term used to refer to the act or activity of travelling.
travel (verb intransitive transitive)to go from one place to another. When meaning long distances, we usually use travel instead of trip. We also use this word when we talk about travelling for a reason such as work, etc.
I love travelling – I’d love to travel around the world – Tomorrow I have to get up early. I’m travelling.
trip (countable noun) an excursion or a journey somewhere and back, especially for pleasure.
We went on a boat trip to the island.
journey (countable noun) the act of travelling from one place and another. Here the focus is placed on talking about what happens between the beginning and ending of these points. For example, if going from Madrid to Paris on a train, you enjoyed it because it was quick, you had a good meal and a nice nap, you would say something like ‘your journey was nice’. But if you had bad weather, the food was horrible and the person on the seat next to you, kept dropping off, snoring almost all the way, you’d probably say that your ‘journey was horrible’.
Past perfect or past simple? This is an activity that will help you practise these tenses within a story about Jane, a girl that was looking forward to going to a party, but discovered that being absent-minded wasn’t a good thing ….unless you change the end of the story.
The first part of the activity is to fill in the blanks with the correct form of the verb in brackets. After checking the activity, students can write their own version of the end of the story. (max 50 words).
Once we have all the stories, we’re going to vote the one we like most! 🙂