B2 · C1 · Listening

Can you eat just one?

corn_puffs

Have you ever felt that you couldn’t control a a strong drive to eat something? Are you one of those people that have to fight against themselves in order to avoid buying certain products on display at the supermarket? Do you often find yourself visiting your refrigerator, at late hours (while everybody is fast asleep), hoping, wishing and keeping fingers crossed that there is still, half a jar of chocolate spread left?

If you identify with these situations,  you could be suffering from the effects of a behavioural addiction called food addiction. This addiction is characterised by a compulsive consumption of high fat and sugary foods that activate the reward system in humans, making them want more and more of the same thing. This doesn’t happen to be a coincidence as the food industry is well aware of this, and consequently, creates food that will be highly palatable for the great majority, despite the adverse consequences that this has on people’s health.

Here you have a listening activity from The National CBC News programme.

 

B1 · B2

The 10 Scariest stories from Madeleine Davies’ blog, Jezebel

Now the cold weather has arrived, people retire from the streets early to take refuge in their warm houses and, as usual there is nothing decent on telly. Now is the time when we really feel like curling up on our couches, cat-like, with a hot cup of tea, cocoa or coffee, opening an enjoyable book for a peaceful evening read.   Many of you have told me about your literary taste, and a few even said they were keen on horror stories.  I happened to come across Madeleine’s blog with these incredible, bone-chilling stories and I would like to share them with you.

Be aware! You may hear strange noises, see creeping shadows and never, ever sleep again!

Click to Jezebel blog

B2 · songs

The Sailorman’s Hymn

This beautiful, although extremely sad ballad by Kamelot, tells the story of a woman hopefully waiting for her lover who may have died at sea in a shipwreck. Although she feels lost and lonely, she never loses hope and lights a candle every night to guide him back home to her. Why the man went away, is not clear in the lyrics, but the reference to the ‘resounding sirens’ bring to mind something that at first  looked tempting, but finally had a tragic outcome.

The song may also be a romantic reference to smuggling, which during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was very common in the British Isles as many were those that at night, risked their lives in an attempt to earn a living.

Anyway, whatever the ballad is about, Kamelot’s vocalist, Roy Khan,  has such  a wonderful voice that I want to share it with you, so as to bring to mind a bard-like story of  remote Ireland.

I hope you enjoy the song.

A2 · B1 · B2 · Vocabulary

Vocabulary quiz for reading

A2 · B1 · B2 · Vocabulary

Showbiz vocabulary quiz

showbiz

 

A2 · B1 · B2 · Vocabulary

Confusing words: appointment – date

Appointment/date

In Spanish and Catalan we usually use ‘cita’ for when we have arranged to meet somebody for professional advice and for when we when we have arranged to meet somebody for leisure.  However, these  two words are very different in English.

Appointment is the word we should use for professional advice like when we go to the doctor for health reasons.

Date is the word we should use for reasons related to meeting somebody for fun or leisure (even if it ends in an argument 😉   )

Look at these examples and after do the quiz.

A – How do you feel today? 

B- Very happy because I have a date with Mick and he’s the so gorgeous!

 

A- How  do you feel today?

B- Quite bad. I have a very bad backache and I have to get an appointment with my doctor.