Advanced C1 listening · C1 · C2 · culture · Listening · Proficiency C2 listening

C1-C2 Listening 'How old-timey skiffle music liberated British rock

Last month I was reading Mark Kermode’s novel ‘How does it Feel?’, which is a funny and interesing recount of his experience towards becoming a famous popstar. At a certain period of his life, the author enrolls 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 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 Zeppeling, The Beatles and the Rollings, among many others, who had all apparerently 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.

Click for the listening activity!

B2 · C1 · C2 · Idioms · vocabulary activity

Green idioms, phrases and vocabulary

Image by Artur Luczka (Unsplash)

What does it mean to be green? And if you’re told to eat your greens? Like all languages, English has quite a few colour idioms and other uses of ‘ green’ and here you have a quiz to find out or learn some of the most typical expressions that use this colour.

Click here for quiz
C1 · C2 · Listening · Reading · speaking

Food waste and what we can do about it.

In 2016 Huffpost launched a campaign calling for action against the astronomical amount of food that was being dumped into the bins by supermarkets in the USA. Although the article is already over three years old, I’ve adapted it as a reading activity that you can do after listening to the video that briefly explains why we should think seriously about this matter. After reading the text, you may want to discuss the questions below with a partner and/or write a letter.

I hope you enjoy the lesson!

Serena

Think and discuss

  1. Do you think governments should curb food waste within households and businesses? Give reasons for your answer.
  2. Why do you think supermarkets and chain stores prefer to discard their produce rather than sale it at a reduced price?
  3. In some states of USA it is illegal to scavenge. Do you agree with this law? What reasons do you think are behind it?
C1 · C2 · Open cloze

Open cloze: How can we reduce food waste at home?

Image by Gary Chan (Unsplash)

According to the latest data recorded in 2018, Spain reached a peak in food waste, squandering a total of 1,339 million kg/l of food and beverages. This number represents an increase of 8.9% over the previous year and seems to be mainly due to economic recovery that was experienced during the spring and summer of the same year.

People are not aware of the social, environmental and economic impact that wasting food generates and that making the right decisions concerning food consumption, will only be possible if citizens are informed on all these negative aspects.

Here you will find an open cloze activity for Upper Intermediate to Advanced that gives some tips on how to be more sustainable within the household concerning food and bevarage.

Click here for the open cloze

C1 · C2 · Listening · Proficiency C2 listening · speaking · Vocabulary

Advanced C1 Listening TED Talks Are we running out of clean water?

Despite water covering 71% of the planet’s surface, more than half the world’s population endures extreme water scarcity for at least one month a year. Current estimates predict that by 2040, up to 20 more countries could be experiencing water shortages. These statistics raise a startling question: is the Earth running out of clean water? Balsher Singh Sidhu takes a closer look at water consumption. (introduction text from TED Talks)

Here you will find three topic-based activities on the issue of water. The fist activity is a quick pre-listening quiz on some of the vocabulary that you will hear in a video. The second button below is for the video. After watching the video you may want to discuss some questions so I’ll find five, hopefully, thought-provoking ones at the end of the post.

Click for pre-listening activity

Click here for the activity!

Speaking practice

  • Does your country suffer from water shortage, and if not, do you believe this will be a problem in the coming future?
  • Does your government invest in sustainable water usage? If so, how?
  • What types of things do you do in order to reduce your water footprint?
  • How do different economic sections cope with the issue of global warming and water shortage in your country?
  • What parts of the world are the most vulnerable to water scarcity?
B1 · B2 · C1 · C2 · Vocabulary · vocabulary activity

B1 B2 C1 C2 What do you call a baby ant?

I found this query on the internet and couldn’t help laughing. Of course, baby ants don’t really exist as such (meaning that you’d be really surprised to find a tiny version of an ant being reared by its parents, wouldn’t you?). But anyway, a baby ant would actually be an egg, a larva or a pupa, depending on the stage (of its babyhood!). But, what do we call other animals such as baby kangaroos or chickens? What’s more, what are their parents called? Here’s a quiz to check on this really interesting aspect of the animal world and the English language.

I hope you enjoy it!

Click here for the animal vocabulary quiz

B2 · C1 · C2 · Vocabulary · vocabulary activity

B2-C1-C2 Group names for animals

Group nouns for animals can be a bit confusing as there are so many. What’s more, there doesn’t always seem to be a strict categorisation as we can apply the same word to different types of animals such as a group of whales that can be called a school, a pod or even a herd. Even looking for information on internet adds more challenges to learning these nouns, where we find hundreds of different ones depending on the English speaking country. In this quiz, I haven’t included some of the words I found on the internet, as many of them haven’t been included in dictionaries yet, and I didn’t want to add more distress to your already-tough-experience of coping with vocabulary for proficiency.

Click on the quiz button below and complete the word with the missing letters.

Click here for the quiz