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.
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.
Only a few days to go before my B2 students from the EOI will be taking their mock exams, and yes, it’s only mock which means that we are only testing knowledge for the certificate examinations in June (something like practising and seeing where student’s stand) Anyway, here’s a word formation activity (typical U.E format) on the Topic of Health.